Today Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins announced that he would become a full-time first baseman in 2014 after battling injuries that included a really rough concussion in 2013. Word also came from Jon Morosi of Fox Sports that the Phillies are still "in the running" for Carlos Ruiz, and that he will make a decision soon.
Mauer's move demonstrates the incredible value a catcher who can provide some offense has to a team. Mauer and Buster Posey are exceptions rather than the rule when it comes to offensive output. Brian McCann is probably third-best. Yadier Molina provides a good amount himself, too. Besides that, catching rarely provides and impact bat. As we saw with Mike Napoli, a weaker catcher doesn't stick with the position if he provides offense.
So, should the Phillies lose Ruiz, there will be few offensive options. Though Ruiz struggled at times in 2013, he can give a team more offense than most catchers while serving as a reliable backstop. The drop off would be sizable.
Picture Cameron Rupp catching every day and batting eighth next year while he develops a major league swing. As the Buster Poseys of the world move to first base and Brian McCanns undoubtedly serve as designated hitter, the defensive whiz, game-calling, light-hitting catcher will become the standard in the big leagues. If the Phillies can hang onto some offense, too, they'd be better off.