Keibert Ruiz extension: Nationals sign young backstop to eight-year deal worth $50 million

The Washington Nationals have made a major move in securing the future of their catching position by signing Keibert Ruiz to an eight-year, $50 million contract extension. The deal solidifies the 23-year-old backstop as the Nationals starting catcher for the foreseeable future.

Ruiz, who was acquired by the Nationals as part of the Max Scherzer and Trea Turner trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers in July, has quickly established himself as one of the top young catchers in the game. In just 26 games with the Nationals this season, he has hit .283 with a .345 on-base percentage and a .443 slugging percentage.

The extension is a major vote of confidence in Ruiz’s abilities, as he has just 95 career at-bats in the majors. However, his performance in the minors gives good reason to believe he will continue to excel at the next level. In 304 games across five minor league seasons, Ruiz batted .302 with a .370 on-base percentage and a .460 slugging percentage, while hitting 38 home runs and driving in 193 runs.

The Nationals were clearly impressed with Ruiz’s potential and saw him as a cornerstone of their franchise moving forward. “We believe Keibert is a long-term solution for the Nationals behind the plate, and we are thrilled to sign him to a long-term deal,” said Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo.

Ruiz’s contract is also a sign of how teams are valuing young catching talent in today’s game. Catchers who can hit for average and power, while also providing defensive value, are becoming increasingly valuable commodities. Teams are willing to invest in these players early in their careers, as the chance to have a top-flight catcher for an extended period of time is too enticing to pass up.

For the Nationals, the investment in Ruiz makes sense on many levels. He is young, talented, and has a high ceiling, and the Nationals are a team that is building for the future. With Ruiz now locked up for the foreseeable future, they can build around him and build a team that can compete for years to come.

Overall, the Keibert Ruiz extension is a major move for the Nationals and a sign of how teams are valuing young catching talent in today’s game. If Ruiz continues to develop as expected, he could be one of the brightest stars in the game for years to come.

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