With the signing of Carlos Ruiz to a three-year contract worth $8.85 million dollars and the earlier signing of Shane Victorino to a three-year deal worth $22 million dollars, the Phils have signed all four players that were originally arbitration eligible.
Last Friday the Phils announced that they had signed their center fielder, Shane Victorino, to a three-year, $22 million dollars deal, which buys out the final two arbitration years and his first year of free agency. Victorino, who, in 2009, batted .292 with 39 doubles, 13 triples, 10 home runs, 62 RBIs, and 25 stolen bases, will be with the ballclub until 2012. He and the Phils both hope that he will build on his success in both 2008 and 2009.
Carlos’ deal involved three years worth $8.85 million dollars, with a fourth-year club option worth either $5 million dollars or a $500,000 buyout, plus performance incentives based on games started, pending a physical. As with Victorino, the signing take care of the remainder of his arbitration years plus, possibly, his first year of free agency. In 2009, Ruiz batted .255 with 43 RBIs and a career-high 9 home runs. Although he has batted .246 in four years with the Phils, he is a .303 hitter during the playoffs.
There is also a report that the Phils have signed Chicago White Sox and Colorado Rockies pitcher Jose Contreras to a one-year deal worth about $1 million dollars, to add him to the presently weak bullpen. Contreras, if he has been signed, will most likely be taking Chan Ho Park’s position in the bullpen as long reliever and spot starter. In 2009, for the White Sox and the Rockies, Contreras went 6-13 with an ERA of 4.92 in 28 games (23 starts), striking out 106 batters while walking 53 in 131 2/3 innings of work. Career-wise, he is 71-63 with a 4.61 ERA.
The Phillies has extended Carlos Ruiz’s contract to $475,000 for the year, after having given contract increases to both J.A. Happ and Ronny Paulino on Saturday, increasing the team’s possible overall payroll to $132.5 million, with all of their players now signed. I guess the days when we were able to call Phillies management a bunch of cheapskates are for the moment over, thanks to the team winning the World Series last year and rewarding its players for a job well done.
And speaking of players and management, the Phillies announced yesterday that they have advanced some money to reliever Scott Eyre to help with his finances, as his money is presently frozen because of a government investigation of the Stanford Financial Group and the alleged $8 billion fraud of billionaire Robert Allen Stanford. With his account at Stanford frozen, Eyre was unable to pay his bills. The advancement will help him with that, as he and several other major leaguers have no idea when they will once again have access to their accounts. Good move on the part of Phils management. And hopefully this situation will be taken care of soon, and not just for the ballplayers, as there are also just normal joes who, for the moment, will not have access to their money while the government look over Stanford’s finances with a fine tooth comb.