According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the Boston Red Sox have inquired on free-agent catcher Carlos Ruiz and as Ricky Doyle from NESN states, the World Champs are “doing their due diligence on him.”
While the news is far from revealing on which way the Red Sox will go in terms of who will be their primary backstop next year, it’s understandable that they would look into the former Phillies catcher in the event Jarrod Saltalamacchia signs elsewhere this winter.
With Salty a free-agent and the Sox deciding not to make him a qualifying offer, the club could be forced to explore life without number 39 behind the plate next season. GM Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell have both publicly stated that they would like to have Saltalamacchia re-sign in Boston with Farrell saying he “absolutely has a future” with the Red Sox. The only snag now is ironing out a new deal that meets the demands of both sides before another team scoops him up.
Enter the notion of exploring the Ruiz option. He would offer that veteran presence to coincide with David Ross who is likely unable to shoulder the load of a starting catcher. With eight years of big league experience under his belt, all with the Phillies, Ruiz may not bring the power that Salty has proven over the past three year’s but other areas of his game could be considered either a replacement or an upgrade.
Age could be a concern with Ruiz given he’ll turn 35-years old in January, especially when you consider the Red Sox have Ryan Lavarnway at just 26-years of age chomping at the bit to prove he’s Major League ready. Ruiz was suspended for 25-games last year after testing positive for a banned amphetamine and suffered a strained hamstring in May, forcing him to miss more playing time.
Salisbury does note that the Phillies will likely be aggressive in trying to retain Ruiz given their lack of depth behind the plate in their farm system.
All this could be for not if the Sox decide to re-sign Saltalamacchia, in which they’d likely have to give a multi-year deal. Stay tuned, this one is far from over.
As the free-agent frenzy picks up steam,we’ll keep you posted on all Red Sox rumblings right here at BoSox Injection.