WEST PALM BEACH, F.l. (DC News Now) – 24-year-old catcher Keibert Ruiz will be one of the official faces of the Washington Nationals’ present and future. Washington announced the signing of Ruiz to an 8-year $50 million dollar extension Friday.

“We got a good, young group,” Ruiz said in a press conference on Saturday. “..and all the guys coming up in the minor leagues too. I feel like I got to take responsibility now and I gotta do my job to help this team win.”

Ruiz was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2021, in the trade that sent pitcher Max Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner to Los Angeles.

He’s the first Nat to sign a multi-year extension since Stephen Strasburg in 2016. Manager Dave Martinez said during a press conference that Ruiz is starting to develop as a leader in the clubhouse.

“I’ve always said this about him that eventually, he will be one of our leaders in that clubhouse.”

In his first full season with the Nats last year, Ruiz hit .251, hit seven home runs, and drove in 36 runs.

He also caught 20 runners stealing, which was the second most among catchers in the national league.