The representative for free-agent Carlos Ruiz has told at least one team that it needs to offer a two-year, $20 million contract to remain competitive for his client.
The obvious question: Which club bid at that level, or close to it?
Could it be the Boston Red Sox?
Yes, $10 million per season would be a lot for Ruiz, who earned only $5 million last season, turns 35 on Jan. 22 and served a 25-game suspension last season for using an amphetamine.
On the other hand, the Red Sox seem disinclined to sign a free-agent catcher long term, knowing it would block their minor league prospects at the position.
That seemingly would rule out Brian McCann. And while Jarrod Saltalamacchia remains an option, he likely will want more than a two-year deal at 28.
A trade for another catcher is always possible, but Ruiz does makes sense for the Red Sox — and remember, the team was willing to overpay on short-term deals last offseason.
Ruiz’s suspension is not viewed as a major detriment, according to an official of one club that is pursuing him. Ruiz now has an ADHD exemption for Adderall, the drug that led to his positive test, the official said.
Russell Martin, who is four years younger than Ruiz, received a two-year, $17 million free-agent contract from the Pirates last offseason. Martin and Ruiz have different strengths, and clubs value them in different ways.