Nationals, Keibert Ruiz agree to eight-year, $50 million deal

The Washington Nationals and catcher Keibert Ruiz have agreed to an eight-year, $50 million deal, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

The deal, which includes a $15 million signing bonus, is the largest contract ever given to a catcher in Major League Baseball.

Ruiz, 22, has been with the Nationals since being acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2019. He has been a key part of the Nationals’ lineup ever since, making two All-Star teams and earning a Gold Glove in 2020.

Ruiz is coming off of a season in which he hit .279 with 16 home runs and 60 RBIs. He also had a career-high .846 OPS and was among the league leaders in caught stealing percentage.

Ruiz is expected to be the Nationals’ starting catcher for the next eight seasons. He is expected to be a key leader in the clubhouse and bring veteran stability to the team.

The deal is a major coup for the Nationals, who have been trying to lock up their core players for the long term. Ruiz’s contract is the largest ever given to a catcher and signals the team’s commitment to winning.

The deal also shows the Nationals’ commitment to their young players, as Ruiz is the third player in their organization to sign an eight-year contract in the last three years.

The Nationals hope that this deal is the first of many that will keep their core together and help them contend for championships in the coming years.