Carlos Ruiz free agency: Catcher signs three-year deal with Philadelphia Phillies

Doug Pensinger

The Red Sox came close, but the Phillies will have Carlos Ruiz back behind the plate in 2014.

The Philadelphia Phillies have re-signed Carlos Ruiz to a 3-year, $26 million deal according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, ending the Red Sox' pursuit of the veteran catcher.

Ruiz, 34, was viewed as a potential stopgap for the Red Sox behind the plate, bridging them from Jarrod Saltalamacchia, himself a free agent, to the young duo of Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart, rapidly making their way through Boston's farm system.

Ruiz would have fit in perfectly with Boston's offseason philosophy from the 2012-2013 offseason. Coming off a down year, there's still plenty of reason to believe Ruiz can produce at a high level. But the appeal of such a deal always came in the belief that the aging backstop could be had on a two-year deal. Once that third season starts coming into play, that particular option loses some of it's luster.

For what it's worth, Jayson Stark says it's exactly that which pushed the Red Sox out of the race:

There are still fish in the sea, as it were, for the Red Sox. Brian McCann looms large, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia remains available. But the hope for a safe short-year deal for anyone of quality is growing dim.

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