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Cubs acquire Justin Ruggiano

The Cubs and Marlins will swap outfielders Justin Ruggiano and Brian Bogusevic.


The Cubs have added outfielder Justin Ruggiano from the Marlins in exchange for Brian Bogusevic, as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports.

Ruggiano has spent parts of five major league season with the Rays and Marlins with mixed results. He broke through with Miami in 2012 with 13 home runs and 14 stolen bases, and more importantly, a .374 on-base percentage in 320 plate appearances, leading to nearly three wins above replacement for the season. However, those numbers were drastically aided by a .401 batting average on balls in play.

He followed up that performance with another superficially positive campaign, hitting 18 home runs and stealing 15 bases, but his BABIP swung in the opposite direction, as BABIP tend to do. Last year, his average on balls in play dropped to .260, 50 points below his career norm. He finished with a batting line of .222/.298/.396 and an fWAR of just 0.9 in 128 games.

The Cubs could use Ruggiano in an outfield that lost Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus to trades last year, likely using him as a stopgap for the club until their first considerable wave of minor-league talent crests the majors.

Bogusevic was originally drafted as a pitcher by the Houston Astros in the first round of the 2005 draft, but he struggled to find a groove on the mound and shifted to the outfield in 2008.

Ruggiano is arbitration eligible this offseason and could earn a substantial raise through an arbitration process that rewards stats like home runs and stolen bases handsomely. Bogusevic won't hit the panel until next offseason, and will likely play for somewhere around the league minimum in the foreseeable future.

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