Last week, a catcher viewed as a fixture of a rebuild and one of baseball’s top prospects both received long-term deals. Neither were Orioles.

Washington Nationals catcher Keibert Ruiz and Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll agreed to eight-year contracts, but it seems unlikely either establishes a point of comparison for hypothetical agreements between the Orioles and their young star duo of Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson.

Coming off his first full season in the majors, Ruiz, 24, signed an eight-year, $50 million contract with Washington, establishing him as a player the Nationals will hold onto as they endure their rebuild. The Orioles believe they are on the other side of theirs, with Rutschman’s selection atop the 2019 draft making him the face of the project and his May 2021 arrival marking the organization’s turn toward competitiveness.

The centerpiece of the trade package Washington received from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner, Ruiz hit .251 with a .673 OPS in 2022 after entering the year ranked as Baseball America’s No. 11 prospect. Rutschman, 25, was 10 spots in front of him, considered the sport’s top prospect before largely living up to that status.

From June 11 on, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was the only position player considered more valuable by FanGraphs’ version of wins above replacement, and Rutschman finished second in American League Rookie of the Year voting; of the four players who came in the top two in each league, Rutschman is the only one without a long-term deal.

He’s again forecasted to be one of the game’s top talents in 2023, and his earning potential makes Ruiz’s agreement look paltry. The Nationals will pay Ruiz $25 million total over the three years of free agency he’s forgoing, according to The Washington Post. That might be the starting annual rate for the Orioles to buy out any of Rutschman’s seasons beyond the five they still have him under team control.

Carroll, 22, is widely regarded as baseball’s No. 2 prospect, with Henderson, 21, occupying the space in front of him. Arizona signed Carroll for eight years and $111 million, the largest contract given to a player with fewer than 100 days of major league service time, excluding those who played in leagues overseas. Both drafted out of high school in 2019, Carroll (16th overall) and Henderson (42nd overall) reached the majors within days of each other, and they enter this …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


For Orioles’ Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson, latest MLB extensions probably don’t mean much | ANALYSIS

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