The Miami Marlins on Thursday put a bow on an active week at the Baseball Winter Meetings, acquiring outfielder Brian Bogusevic from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for outfielder Justin Ruggiano.
The left-handed hitting Bogusevic, 29, hit .273 with six home runs and 16 RBIs in 47 games with the Cubs last season. He hit .317 in 79 games with Triple-A Iowa before his returning to the majors.
"Really, Bogusevic is a younger version of Ruggiano," President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill said. "In terms of skill set, can play all three outfield positions and will fill the role that we had identified for Ruggiano."
The transaction will save the Marlins about $1 million. Ruggiano, who turns 32 in April, is arbitration-eligible whereas Bogusevic won't qualify until after next season.
“It just allows us to re-allocate those dollars," Hill said. "Given the fact that we’re going to go with the kids in the outfield as the everyday players, we didn’t want to allocate the dollars that we had in that role in Ruggiano. We wanted to spend it elsewhere.
"[Bogusevic] is a different type of player. He’s more contact, more of a gap hitter. We felt like, in a reserve role, Ruggiano’s power probably wouldn’t play as well. We wanted to get a more functional bat."
Ruggiano, who spent his first three seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, hit .313 with 13 home runs in 91 games with the Marlins in 2012. Last season, he had a career-high 18 home runs and 50 RBI in 128 games. He also had an epic 42 consecutive at-bat hitless streak that contributed to a .222 average in 472 plate appearances.
Ruggiano, 31, hit 15 of his 18 home runs last season on the road.
Over his four-year MLB career, Bogusevic has a .236 average with 17 home runs and 62 RBI in 299 games. He has a .288 career average in 465 minor league games, with 36 home runs and 208 RBI.
The Astros drafted Bogusevic in the first round (24th overall) of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft as a pitcher out of Tulane, where he was a Louisville Slugger First-Team All-American and First-Team All-Conference USA Pitcher. He was converted to an outfielder in July of 2008.
"We had a lot of trade conversations," Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer told the Chicago Tribune. "We were glad to get that done. We like Bogusevic a lot, but we think it’s a better fit for our roster. We get a guy who really hits left-handed pitching well. He can platoon with one of several guys we have and play all three outfield positions. Sometimes it is about fit. Brian did a good job for us, but Ruggiano fits our roster better and we were excited to work out a deal for him.’’...
The Marlins began the day with a full 40-man roster, precluding them from making a pick in the major league phase of Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, They were active in the minor league phases. In the Triple-A phase they selected first baseman Justin Bour (Cubs), outfielder Brady Shoemaker (White Sox) and third baseman Tony Thompson (Athletics). In the Double-A phase, the Marlins took right-hander Kelvin Castro from the Yankees.
Staff writer Keven Lerner contributed to this report. firstname.lastname@example.org or @JCRMarlinsbeat on Twitter.