Former Dodger top catching prospect Keibert Ruiz has reportedly agreed to a massive extension with the Washington Nationals, per Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post.
The deal is reported to be for eight years, worth $50 million, with two club options that could keep Ruiz in Washington for the next 10 seasons.
Ruiz was a former top prospect in the Dodgers organization, ranking as the team’s No. 1 overall prospect in 2021, per MLB Pipeline. At that year’s trade deadline, however, the Dodgers decided to go all-in and trade for RHP Max Scherzer and SS Trea Turner, and Ruiz was used as the key piece in the deal. The full deal sent Ruiz, RHP Josiah Gray (the team’s No. 2 prospect), RHP Gerardo Carrillo and OF Donovan Casey to Washington for Scherzer and Turner.
Ruiz played well for Washington at the end of the 2021 season, so much so that he was their main catcher in 2022. Last year, Ruiz played in 112 games for Washington, and slashed .251/.313/.360 with seven home runs and 36 RBIs.
In just one-and-a-half seasons, Washington feels like they’ve seen more than enough to make sure they keep the 24-year-old around for the long-term future. The deal is for the next eight seasons, meaning it’s the two pre-arbitration years, all three arbitration years and then the first three years of free agency for Ruiz. Then, the club options could keep him in Washington another two seasons.
This is a very exciting deal for Ruiz, someone who’s clearly living up to the hype as a No. 1 overall prospect. Fortunately, it doesn’t sting too much for the Dodgers, as they have one of the best catchers in baseball in Will Smith, and another No. 1 overall prospect at the catcher position in Diego Cartaya.
Yes, it would be a little bit nicer if the Dodgers had won a World Series with either Scherzer or Turner. But either way, it’s hard to look back at that trade as a bad one, especially considering how great Turner was for the last one-and-a-half years.
Congrats to Ruiz on the extension!
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