The Washington Nationals and C Keibert Ruiz have agreed to an 8 year contract extension that could be worth up to $50M. @WowDeportes and @BarrySvrluga were first to report.
This contract could turn out to be an absolute steal for the Nationals: inking their young, up and coming catcher to a contract for 8 (!!!) years at such a low price is huge! Nationals fans can rightfully celebrate this one.
"$50M is for 8 years — two pre-arbitration, all three arbitration years and three years of free agency. Then two club options. Ruiz could be the Nats catcher for the next decade." says Barry Svrluga here.
Coming off the best season of his (very) young career, Ruiz appeared in 112 games, and totaled 99 hits with a batting average of .251, all while providing quality defense behind the plate. Keibert caught the third-most pitches in all of the major leagues last season, only trailing J.T. Realmuto and Sean Murphy, who have two of the four highest value catcher contracts in the MLB.
Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post goes onto suggest that the Nationals may not even be done locking up their young core, as the Nationals apparently have "next parts" of their plan that started with the Keibert Ruiz extension. Some had questioned about when Mike Rizzo would start solidifying the future of this franchise by signing guys to extensions. Keibert is the first, and you can be confident there will be more to follow. $50 Million over 8 years is very team friendly, but not uncommon as you are effectively buying out a player's arbitration years to avoid the yearly hassle. It is good we do not have to worry about Ruiz going through a similar arbitration process that Victor Robles has gone through.
It's clear that Nationals management believes in Keibert Ruiz, and so do we!
Keibert Ruiz is HERE. TO. STAY.
Sources say that the Nationals will officially announce the deal tomorrow.