And then, there were none. The Phillies have reportedly settled their final arbitration case today, agreeing to a three year extension with catcher Carlos Ruiz worth $9 million.
His significant and deserved post-season reputation aside, Ruiz posted a career high .355 OBP in 2009, and a .780 OPS, good for second and fifth in the league, respectively, among NL catchers with at least 350 plate appearances.
And all of that despite a BABIP of just .266.
Extending catchers is a risky proposition, but the past 12 months has seen the Phillies dump or trade four viable catchers/prospects (Jason Jaramillo, Ronny Paulino, Lou Marson, Travis D'Arnaud), leaving just Sebastian Valle, in low-A, at least a couple years away from Philadelphia. Ruiz has shown that he has the trust of his pitching staff and, since he only started as a catcher regularly in his late turns teens, he's a "young" 31 in catcher terms.