The Phillies have their catcher and Carlos Ruiz has the familiarity of returning to the only professional baseball organization he's ever known.
Of course coming to an agreement on a free agent deal is never that simple. Ruiz, a free agent for the first time in his career and two months away from his 35th birthday, was looking for security.
Because of that, his agent, Marc Kligman, said Ruiz had to separate emotion in the free agent process, even if his heart was trying to pull him back to Philadelphia the entire time.
"When you’re talking about a guy in his situation, later in life, playing a position that’s susceptible to injury, you have to be mindful this is last time to make money," Kligman said. " Your heart may pull you one way, but you have to include critical thinking about what’s practical....The way it all kind of lined up it was a good fit."
Kligman was asked if years or dollars were most important. It was likely a combination of the two.
"This was likely the last opportunity for him to lock down a multi-year deal," Kligman said. "So years, total dollars – he wanted the ability to create financial security for himself and his family. That was paramount in deciding what to do and where to go."
And when the Phillies presented a three-year offer for a guaranteed $26 million, Ruiz was able to make the decision he wanted to make all along.
“I think he’s very excited to be back with the Phillies," Kligman said. "We were hoping at the end of the negotiations or wherever we got in the free agency period, we were hoping the only place he’s called home, and he believes Phillies fans are the best in the world, they’ve always been so supportive to him. (The Phillies) are where he turned himself from an $8,000 infielder to one of the best defensive catchers in the game and a legitimate middle-of-order hitter. He was really hoping everything was going to align so his brain could follow his heart."
Ruiz will likely arrive in Philadelphia later in the week (Wednesday or Thursday) to complete a physical to make the contract official.
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