Phillies exercise $5 million option on Carlos Ruiz


As expected the Phillies have exercised their $5 million team option on catcher Carlos Ruiz for next season.

Among the biggest no-brainer decisions of the offseason, as the 33-year-old Ruiz is coming off a career-year in which he hit .325 with 16 homers and a .935 OPS in 114 games. He’d previously never reached double-digit homers or topped an .850 OPS.

Ruiz will be eligible for free agency after 2013, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Phillies try to keep him off the open market with an extension. On one hand he’s been hugely valuable and a key part of Philadelphia’s success over the years. On the other hand he’s already 33 years old and the career-year means his asking price may never have been higher.

In the meantime he’s a helluva bargain for 2013.

Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.

This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.