The rebuilding Nationals have made their first long-term commitment to a key member of the team’s young core.
According to multiple reports, Washington has signed catcher Keibert Ruiz to an eight-year contract extension that guarantees $50 million. The deal includes to club options, according to Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post, and is expected to be officially announced on Saturday.
Ruiz, part of the return package that the Nats acquired from the Dodgers for Trea Turner and Max Scherzer, played his first full big-league season last year, logging 112 games and batting .251 with a .673 OPS and seven home runs in 433 plate appearances. The switch hitter struck out 50 times against 30 walks, and was five percent below league average with a 95 OPS+ on the season.
While Ruiz didn’t show off much power, he showed an elite ability to limit strikeouts, and behind the plate, was near league average based on multiple defensive metrics.
Ruiz, 24, wasn’t set to become a free agent until after the 2027 season.