The Phillies have avoided arbitration with catcher Cameron Rupp, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter). Rupp will earn a $2.05MM salary for the coming campaign — just a hair shy of the $2.1MM that MLBTR projected he’d earn in his first arbitration year.
Though Rupp was not quite as productive last year as he was in 2016, he has established himself as a decent MLB hitter with a lifetime .234/.298/.407 slash. As that line hints, Rupp delivers good power (30 total home runs over the past two seasons) but not much in the way of on-base skills. Rupp did boost his walk rate to 10.3% in 2017, though his strikeout rate also jumped to 34.4%.
Defensively, the 29-year-old has not graded well as a framer. But Baseball Prospectus has graded Rupp as average in blocking balls in the dirt and controlling the running game.
All told, Rupp is a solid part-time catcher in an appealing contract situation. Given the presence of younger options — Andrew Knapp and Jorge Alfaro — some have wondered whether the Phillies would end up dealing Rupp this winter. That could still come to pass, though the organization likely isn’t in any rush to anoint one or both of those backstops.