UPDATE: Phillies lock up Chooch for three years

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Carlos Ruiz headshot.jpgUpdate: According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Ruiz will receive $8.85 million over three years with a $5 million option for a fourth year.

6:04 pm: Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies have signed catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year, $9 million contract, pending a physical.

Ruiz, who turned 31 on Friday, was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. He asked for $2.5 million and was offered $1.7 million from the Phillies when arbitration figures were exchanged Tuesday. Ultimately, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. elected to buy out Ruiz’s arbitration years, exactly like he did with outfielder Shane Victorino and right-hander Joe Blanton last week.

“Chooch” batted .255/.355/.425 with nine home runs and 43 RBI with the Phillies last season, and was red-hot after the All-Star break, slamming six homers and posting an 862 OPS over his final 156 at-bats. The second half success translated to the postseason, where Ruiz hit .341 with two homers and nine RBI.

Ruiz is expected to be the everyday backstop for the Phillies this season, with the newly-inked Brian Schneider serving as his primary backup.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.