Nationals Lock Up Young Core Piece For The Long Haul

The Washington Nationals are starting to piece together the young core that will lead them into the future. They've now locked up one of the leaders of that group, 24 year old catcher Keibert Ruiz, to a long-term deal.

It's an 8-year extension for Ruiz, that includes two club options that could bring the total value of the deal to $50M.

Ruiz was one of the top prospects in all of baseball when the Nats acquired him from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2021 in the blockbuster trade for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.  

The young catcher started 106 games behind the plate for the Nationals last season, while batting .251 with a .673 OPS. Not overwhelming numbers, but better than the average major league catcher's line of a .228 average and .663 OPS. 

He did show excellent bat-to-ball skills as well, striking out only 50 times, against 30 walks. 

He leads a young core that was boosted in a big way by the massive haul Washington brought in last season in the Juan Soto deal, including top prospects and young players CJ Abrams, MacKenzie Gore, James Wood and Robert Hassell.

Photo: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports