Phillies agree to minor league deal with veteran reliever

The Phillies have reportedly signed reliever José Ruiz to a minor league contract.
José Ruiz has signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies
José Ruiz has signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies / Norm Hall/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Phillies made a minor move on Monday afternoon, inking veteran reliever José Ruiz to a minor league deal, per Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors. The contract reportedly includes an invitation for Ruiz to attend Major League camp and have a chance to win a spot in the Phillies' bullpen.

The 29-year-old right-hander started 2023 with the Chicago White Sox, albeit only for a brief four appearances, before being acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Ruiz finished the year with a 5.89 ERA and an ugly 1.65 WHIP, although those numbers are both inflated by a tough start with the White Sox. He left Chicago with a 22.09 ERA and 3.27 WHIP after three of his four outings went horribly wrong.

In 34 appearances for Arizona, Ruiz went 2-1 with a 4.43 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP, and recorded 36 strikeouts in 40 2/3 innings. He finished the season with the Diamondbacks Triple-A affiliate Reno Aces in the Pacific Coast League, where he had a 4.10 ERA and 1.41 WHIP despite striking out 33 batters in 26 1/3 innings.

Ruiz originally signed as a free agent with the San Diego Padres in 2017 and has appeared in 212 games in the Majors, mostly with the White Sox, where he spent five seasons before this year.

The native of Venezuela has a four-pitch mix, with a 96.5 mph four-seam fastball, a 96.2 mph sinker, an 89.6 mph changeup, and an 85.7 mph curveball.

While Ruiz has shown some ability to rack up strikeouts in the past, with a 25.7 percent strikeout rate in 2022, he couldn't figure it out this past season as he struck out only 18.8 percent of the batters he faced. Ruiz has proven unable to command his stuff throughout his career, with a 10.9 percent walk rate. He issued 21 free passes in his 44 1/3 innings this year.

At the time of writing, details of the contract had not been announced.

More popular Philadelphia Phillies news and analysis