As expected, the Phillies have avoided arbitration with Carlos Ruiz, signing their starting catcher to a three-year extension believed to be worth $9 million, according to CSNPhilly's Jim Salisbury. [Link]
The 31-year-old backstop rode a second-half surge to a career year for the Phillies, hitting .255/.355/.425 with nine homers and a 104 OPS+. Chooch was in his first season of arbitration eligibility. He and the Phillies weren't far apart when the two sides exchanged numbers last week, and following the three-year extensions granted to Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton, the Phillies rewarded their valued catcher with a deal that buys out his arbitration years. The signing means all the Phillies' key components are in the books for 2010 and that most of the core will remain intact until at least 2011. Chooch's deal will be finalized pending next week's physical, according to the report.
Update: Todd Zolecki writes that a source told MLB.com that the deal includes a fourth-year option worth $5 million with a $500,000 buyout. Nice deal for Ruben Amaro, Scott Proefrock and their team, and a strong vote of confidence for their franchise catcher.