PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz had been one of the best hitters in baseball before he injured his foot in August.
So it came to nobody's surprise Monday when the Phillies picked up the $5 million club option on his contract for next season. The Phillies had a $500,000 buyout, but there was no way they were going to take that. Ruiz hit .325 with 32 doubles, 16 home runs, 68 RBIs and a .935 OPS in 114 games this season.
The Phillies declined their half of a $5.5 million mutual option with Placido Polanco. They will instead pay him a $1 million buyout. The Phillies also declined a $2.5 million option for Jose Contreras and a $4 million option for Ty Wigginton. Each will receive $500,000 buyouts.
Juan Pierre and Brian Schneider also became free agents, although neither is likely to be back in Philadelphia.
Free agents can start signing with other clubs after midnight ET on Friday.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.