Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is off the disabled list after missing the past month with a concussion.
Ruiz hit poorly on a minor-league rehab assignment at Single-A, going 3-for-17 (.176) with three strikeouts and one walk in five games, but he’s avoided any post-concussion symptoms and the Phillies are convinced he’s ready to return.
If he plays well Ruiz could interest contending teams as a trade deadline pickup, either before July 31 or in August via the waiver wire process. He’s in the first season of a three-year, $26 million, so the Phillies may have to eat some salary to move the 35-year-old, but Ruiz hit well before the concussion.
The Braves announced on Thursday that the club has inked lefty reliever Will Smith to a three-year, $39 million contract with a club option for the 2023 season worth $13 million. Smith received a qualifying offer worth $17.8 million from the Giants, so he opted for a lower average annual value for a longer contract.
Smith, 30, was an All-Star last season with the Giants, finishing with 34 saves, a 2.76 ERA, and a 96/21 K/BB ratio across 65 1/3 innings. Across parts of seven seasons in the majors, he has a 3.53 ERA.
Smith, the top free agent left-handed reliever, will join a strong Braves bullpen which already includes Mark Melancon, Shane Greene, and Sean Newcomb.