"A Phillies - [Carlos] Ruiz reunion still seems likely." This seems to be what most readers are taking away from an article written by MLB.com's Todd Zolecki yesterday, which may have given Red Sox fans hoping for the veteran catcher to make the jump to Boston this offseason reason for concern.
The good news is that, taken as a whole, that article actually suggests the opposite.
Zolecki's argument for Ruiz remaining in Philly seems to be based entirely on it making sense. He cites their need for a right-handed bat and notes that the alternatives--Brian McCann, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, A.J. Pierzynski--do not fit the bill. But that's in a "money is no object" vacuum, and when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, it actually seems like things aren't going all that well for the Phillies on the Ruiz front:
And if one reads between the lines, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is frustrated negotiations with Ruiz have taken so long. He has made a point in the past week to say there are plenty of catchers available, and they will not wait forever for Ruiz. It could be posturing on Amaro's part, especially if he believes the Phillies have made more than a reasonable offer to a 34-year-old catcher (Ruiz turns 35 in January) coming off his worst offensive season in five years.
Now, Zolecki's seems to imply that all that is reason to believe that the Phillies are the ones who have offered Ruiz the two-year, $20 million deal he's widely reported to have received. But that involves a fair bit of guesswork and even assumes that Ruben Amaro Jr. is a rational actor which, come on.
Rational actor or no, though, if Amaro isn't happy with how the negotiations are going, it's hard to see that as a bad sign for the Red Sox if, indeed, they've marked Ruiz as their primary target behind the plate. It still wouldn't be surprising to see Ruiz return for another couple years in Philly, but it's hardly a foregone conclusion.