The Seattle Mariners may have found a solution to their right field vacancy and right-handed hitting problems in a single move. Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Mariners have acquired outfielder Justin Ruggiano from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Minor League pitcher Matt Brazis.
Cubs deal @justinruggiano to M's for RH Matt Brazis.— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) December 17, 2014
Ruggiano spent one season with the Cubs in 2014 after playing five years in Florida with the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins. He was a very serviceable fourth outfielder in Chicago. In 81 games, he hit a very solid .281/.337/.429 with 6 HR and 28 RBI playing against both right- and left-handed pitchers. He also played all three outfield positions with more than half of his games in right field. He committed only one error all season.
Ruggiano's best offensive season occurred in 2012 when he hit .313/.374/.535 with 13 HR and 36 RBI in 91 games.
The one negative about Ruggiano is that his 2014 season ended on August 23 due to surgery to repair debridement in his left ankle. However, he came off the 60-day disabled list early in November and expects to report to Spring Training on time and fully recovered in February.
In return, the Cubs will receive right-handed pitcher Brazis. The 25-year-old hurler has yet to make his Major League debut, but he has a career 2.89 ERA and 14 saves in 100 Minor League games as strictly a reliever. In 2014, Brazis was 4-1 with a 2.36 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 84 strikeouts in 72 1/3 innings spread over 40 games in High A and Double A. He averaged nearly two innings per appearance, something the Cubs need to help solidify their bullpen.