Sep 3, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Miami Marlins center fielder Justin Ruggiano (20) cannot make a catch on a double off the bat of Chicago Cubs catcherWelington Castillo
(not pictured) during the third inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
In an interview session Wednesday, Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein stated he had a trade offer out for “a position player,” and it appears he landed his guy. Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer also noted Thursday morning that the team “didn’t have that veteran right-handed bat who can platoon and hit lefties.”
Ruggiano, 31, hit .222/.298/.396 and 18 home runs in 424 at-bats last season for the Marlins. In 2012, he played part-time and hit .313/.374/.534 line in 320 PAs, but it was his only season with an OPS+ > 100 & he had a .401 BABIP.
The Cubs have been seeking a right-handed outfield bat and he looks to platoon with Nate Schierholtz in right field or Ryan Sweeney in center. Ruggiano has hit .256/.328/.506 (316 at-bats) against left-handers and .249/.308/.393 against right-handers in his career. In five major league seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays and Marlins he is a lifetime .251 hitter with 37 home runs and 109 RBIs.
Bogusevic, 29, is a career .236/.313/.370 hitter (86 OPS+) with 17 home runs in 773 career plate appearances in the majors. He’s capable of manning all three outfield positions for the Marlins and will probably be the fourth outfielder behind Marcell Ozuna, Giancarlo Stanto, and Christian Yelich.
Ruggiano is also capable of playing all three outfield positions and is arbitration eligible for the first time. He should cost the Cubs something in the $1.5 to $2 million range.