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brian bogusevic“Hey, we’ve got a lot of lefty platoon-type outfielders, and we could use a righty platoon-type outfielder, so … ”

That deal the Cubs had out there for a position player was just completed, and it saw outfielder Brian Bogusevic going to the Marlins for outfielder Justin Ruggiano.

Ruggiano, 31, put up a .222/.298/.396 line for the Marlins last year, which is pretty amazing given that it featured a hitless streak of 42 at bats.

In all seriousness, Ruggiano is a solid right-handed bat, best utilized off the bench and as part of a platoon. His career line against lefties is .256/.328/.506, and he can play very well anywhere in the outfield. As a full-timer, he won’t kill you, so I guess that’s good, too.

He also made one of the most amazing catches you’ll ever see:

Ruggiano could split time with Ryan Sweeney in center, or with Nate Schierholtz in right. One of those spots, at least, was going to be a platoon, so Ruggiano was a necessary, solid addition. He’s arbitration eligible for the first time this year, so he’ll cost the Cubs something in the $1.5 to $2 million range. A slight increase from Bogusevic’s $500,000 or so. The Marlins sure do like to save money.

As for Bogusevic, he was facing a roster squeeze as the Cubs’ outfield was looking increasingly left-handed with Ryan Sweeney and Nate Schierholtz already slotted for starting jobs. He had a decent stretch with the Cubs last year, but it’s an open question whether his bat will ever play in the bigs.

  • Required

    Not to be negative….but it’s laughable that we can’t even get mediocre bullpen guys to come here if they have a choice of teams. I’ll bet we beat offers on the table for Carmona. It’s so bad we are trying to get the FA/ or trade partners to buy in on hope.

  • Drew

    Saw the Cubs lost Mateo int he draft today…. Best of luck to him in the future and hope he overcomes his injuries.

    As for Bogs being sent packing, I am happy.I was hoping for the Cubs to cut him to open a spot on the 40 man roster. I understand he was late coming in as a hitter since he previously pitched but at his age, I’d rather give a younger guy a look (Lake, Vitters, Szcur perhaps?) and build upon that. They are in still full rebuilding mode which I am content with. Bringing Ruggs in is fine as well, will provide better production then Bogs.

  • Edglouck

    Good trade for Ruggiano.

  • cub2014

    not to jump on Hendry but it would have been nice
    to have Angel Pagan in center these last 5 years.
    why we traded him for two low level minor league
    prospects still burns.

    • Jono

      I like and liked Pagan, too. He’s the type of player you want on your team. He plays hard all the time, very professional

      • C. Steadman

        Pagan is one of many classic examples of a player getting better after the Cubs trade him…

        • Jono

          He only have two years with the Cubs. Players often get better after their first couple years. I can only speak for myself, but I knew he was better than his stats indicated. It was no surprise to me he got better

          • C. Steadman

            no, im agreeing Hendry sold too early on Pagan, and then once off the Cubs he started to perform

            • Jono

              oh, I thought you were saying that his presence on the cubs was holding him back then got better just from playing for another team.

            • Jose’s Eyelid

              From what I recall Lou didn’t like Pagan because he was hurt all the time. So Hendry got what he could.

              • Jono

                wow, yea, I didn’t notice that (or remember, obviously). 170 ABs in 2006 and 148 in 2007. Then 91 ABs in 2008 with the Mets.

    • terencemann

      I like Pagan, too, but they guys they replaced him with (Jones, Edmonds, Fukudome) were better than him in the ensuing seasons. On the flip side, the Cubs were lucky those guys worked out as Jones had not been very good, Edmonds had been released by San Diego after a limited number of games and Fukudome was kind of an unknown entity.

      • C. Steadman

        pretty sure Jacque Jones was on the cubs the same time Pagan was

      • TK

        And how much $$$$ was spent on those guys???

        • Jay

          And Jones sucked! What are you talking about? Jimbo made some sweet trades but he could not sign an OF to save his life.

          • TK

            Woulda been good to keep him on a “Executive Trade Coordinator” or something.

  • Johnnie A

    I have great respect for the sabermetrics but I must admit i don’t understand all of them. I have a hard time understanding the opinion that Nelson Cruz “sucks”. I am a Cubs fan living in DFW and I follow the Rangers fairly closely. I think he is a legitimate middle of the order guy, something obviously lacking on our roster. Kemp or Ethier would make more sense but either of them would cost more than a 2nd round pick, more $$$ per year, and are tied up longer. call me naive, but I think it would be a good move. Don’t forget the flippable part!

    • terencemann

      People don’t like Cruz because he’ll be 34 next season. He’s never had a high on base percentage or hit for a good average. He’s mostly just a one dimensional moderate power bat like Alfonso Soriano. People also think his HR were probably inflated by playing in Texas. He’s just not worth the kind of money he’s going to get.

      • Required

        The steroids had something to do with his numbers too.

        • terencemann

          I would not put a lot of stock in that.

    • Kygavin

      Mainly what was said above, plus he is looking for a huge (delusional) deal

  • Spoda17

    I agree the lineup is going to be thin… many thanks to God that he invented beer…

    • Wilbur

      Amen

  • Jono

    Do people think that if they repeat the same criticism often enough, the Cubs FO will suddenly start signing a bunch of impact free agents?

    • terencemann

      Until there are dire signs that the plan they are working on is not going to produce a winning team in the long run, I do not expect them to deviate. You can look at the Indians as a team who was also trying to build from within but, when it was clear that their farm system had produced everything it could for a while, they went out and made some moves to add major league players to fill-in the holes. A lot of their success last season came from their internally developed players, though.

  • DarthHater

    I wouldn’t put too much weight on Ruggiano’s career stat line, since his big numbers in 2012 were supported by a flukey .401 BABIP. I’m not saying it’s a bad deal. At present, it probably makes sense for the Cubs to exchange a lefty 4-A outfielder for a righty 4-A outfielder. But I’m not going to get all optimistic about Ruggiano based on his 2012.

  • ruby2626

    31 homers in 712 at bats last 2 seasons, sounds like Hairston Jr.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      Yeah, but he is a strikeout candidate. I thought Theo was preaching OBP? Mueller is really going to be busy with this group.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        A lot of high OBP guys also are high K guys. Drawing walks often is a side-effect of guys taking pitches that they cannot hit hard, even if they are strikes. They also are a side-effect of taking hard cuts that miss (or foul the ball off) and keep the bat alive for a possible walk or K on subsequent pitches.

        Getting guys who draw a lot of walks AND garner few K’s is really tough: really, that’s a trait of HoF calibre batters.

        • Jay

          He just needed a platoon guy for Schierholz and it’s not like we gave up anything in Bogesevic. Move along–nothing to see here. Pretty funny though that this turns out to be the “position player trade” Theo used as proof that him and Jed weren’t just getting their nails done at the meetings, since it barely merits any mention whatsoever.

          • terencemann

            The Cubs got a team to part with a player who is still under team control for a while and all it cost them was a player they got on a minor league deal last off-season. That probably took a lot of work.

            A lot of the work at the winter meetings reportedly doesn’t lead to movement this week, too. The teams use this week to lay the groundwork for future deals, some of which might not come to fruition until the trade deadline.

        • Andrew

          Ruggiano isn’t a high OBP guy though he has a career obp of .315. Oh well, it’s a fine trade in that the cubs picked up a decent right handed bat which they needed.

  • Dustin Smith

    The timing of this deal means it will be over-scrutinized probably for such a minor trade, but not much to say good or bad. It would barely make headlines if this were a trade in-season. Brett put it well that it was basically just a lefty for righty swap of bench OF (- a little d, + a little power) but not much more than that. There is probably a tad more upside potential for Ruggiano though IMO than Bogusevic. Best of luck to him in Florida.

  • C. Steadman

    giants got Michael Morse on a 1yr-6million deal…wouldve wanted the Cubs to pull the trigger on that price for a LF

    • bbmoney

      I wouldn’t have.

      • C. Steadman

        why not?

        • gocatsgo2003

          Aside from the fact that he is absolutely dreadful in the field and put up an 84 OPS+ last year?

          • C. Steadman

            “when healthy he is a career 281/334/473 hitter”
            “he suffered from a career low 254 BABIP…at a 1yr 6 million deal why not?”

            • gocatsgo2003

              … and he’s still a complete butcher in the outfield who wouldn’t fit the long-term plan and take innings away from Lake in the process. Don’t know why this is even so hard.

              Even in his breakout 2011 season in which he finished in the top-20 of MVP voting, he only contributed 3.4 WAR because of a pitiful -1.6 dWAR.

              • C. Steadman

                i never said longterm plan guy…i would have kept him in LF for half a season and flip him at the deadline for prospects…I want lake to play inCF bc it leaves LF open to a different converted IF who doesnt have lakes athleticsm(Baez, Bryant, Vitters)…at a one year deal to flip why not…but im not budging on it’d be nice if the Cubs pulled the trigger bc the Giants did and have a better situation for him

                • ssckelley

                  That last sentence says it all, the Giants are a better situation for Morse which means they would have had to outbid the Giants for him. If the money is equal I am sure Morse picks playing for the Giants over the Cubs.

                • gocatsgo2003

                  Because he would take away innings from either Lake (directly in LF) or Sweeney (in moving Lake to CF full-time; and, if you didn’t notice, Sweeney was actually pretty decent last year and is a more “flippable” asset in any event due to his age and longer-term cost-controlled contract).

                  In order to flip Morse at the deadline, you would also have to be reasonably sure that he could/would net you the equivalent of about $3MM in prospect value (approximately the amount that you would have had to pay him for the first half of the year). Is that an outcome that you’re confident in watching unfold?

                  Lake could very well end up in CF long-term, but it is more likely that he will spend at least another year in LF to build up enough time in the OF before being asked to handle CF full-time.

                • gocatsgo2003

                  Sweeney is also more “flippable” due to better position versatility than Morse… forgot that one earlier. The ability to kind of play 1B and kind of play LF aren’t exactly selling points for Mr. Morse while Sweeney has shown the ability to at least competently handle all three OF spots.

    • Jon

      I would have too, but prepare for the obligatory “Michael Morse only gets you 69 wins instead of 66, so why bother?”

      • Norm

        Actually, based on last year, he’d get you 64-65 wins instead of 66.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Mike Morse in injury plagued, a butcher in the outfield and really not all that good offensively when he is healthy.

      • C. Steadman

        when healthy he is a career 281/334/473 hitter….we couldve kept Bogey and platooned them to give Morse rest to prevent injuries…he suffered from a career low 254 BABIP…at a 1yr 6 million deal why not?…yeah he sucks a defense but we can suffer through a half year of bad defense…he’s a perfect flip candidate

        • Jay

          Maybe, but all that would have done is taken at bats away from Lake, and if you’re not going to win then the kids may as well show you what they’ve got.

          • C. Steadman

            I think Lake’s future is in CF…i’d rather take AB’s away from Sweeney and play lake in CF

        • ssckelley

          Morse is a guy who had 1.5 terrific seasons offensively (2010 and 2011) and has been on the decline ever since. He is horrible in the outfield so his bat has to carry him and last season it did not carry him at all. He is not an above replacement level player anymore and the Cubs probably found someone better in Ruggiano without spending $6 million.

          • C. Steadman

            2012 was no slouch…291/321/470 with 18 HR…he suffered from a career low 254 BABIP last year(76 points off his career) and injuries…no reason Morse can’t comeback…yeah he isnt a defensive wonder but he’d be our best offensive player probably and would be a perfect flip guy

            • ssckelley

              BR has Morse at .8 WAR for 2012 and last season he was at -1.8 and I bet Fangraphs has similar numbers, his defensive matrix’s is really that bad and when he does not hit he will cost you games defensively. Ruggiano, who the Cubs just acquired, played above replacement level in 2012 (2.4 WAR) and was right at replacement level this past season (0.1 WAR). Everything you say to explain Morse woes at the plate last season can be applied to Ruggiano except Ruggiano walks more. They are both the same age (both turn 32 next spring).

              Now, you’re Hoyer which guy looks like the better deal? Morse for $6 million or Ruggiano who will probably cost $2 million plus you have an extra year of control?

              • C. Steadman

                you have to take Ruggianos 2012 with a grain of salt(401 BABIP)…and the Cubs couldve still made the Ruggiano trade for Bogey(Ruggiano is primarily a CF) and still sign Morse(LF)…im advocating Morse as a July flip for prospects and then bring up Ha or Szczur…you advocated earlier on Castro and Rizzo bouncing back but why cant Morse?

                • ssckelley

                  Because Castro and Rizzo are only 23 years old and have not reached their prime. Perhaps there is something to the coaches sending them mixed messages.

                  I am not saying Morse will not bounce back and perhaps Ruggiano does not either. Ruggiano could be a nice flip candidate in July as well if he bounces back and could get the Cubs a better haul with the extra year of control. Between Ruggiano and Morse I like my chances better with Ruggiano since he is a better outfielder. Again Ruggiano also saves you at least $4 million.

                  • C. Steadman

                    were just gonna have to agree to disagree…seems neither of us are budging…at least we agree that we think 14 will be better than 13

                    • ssckelley

                      Yeah, but it has been entertaining.

                      Also, I forgot to mention this earlier, I do not think the Cubs would want both Morse and Ruggiano. I think the Cubs want to see what they have in Lake, Sweeney, and even Vitters.

                    • C. Steadman

                      yeah im just gonna have to move on…Giants got Morse and seem to have a better plan for him since they can switch him and Belt if Morse starts sucking in LF…Im excited to see what a healthy Vitters can do in LF

                    • ssckelley

                      I get the frustrations, I’ve been pining for Corey Hart and it was tough to see him sign with the Mariners. He only signed for $5 million plus incentives and the rumors say they plan on using him in the outfield.

                      But meh, what do I know? Bring on Ruggiano!!!

                    • Norm

                      SEA is saying Hart will play in the OF because they still have Smoak. When Smoak is traded, they’ll announce Hart is a 1B.

                  • C. Steadman

                    i do like the Ruggiano move for the record

    • Jason P

      I would have rather had Hart – he also signed a 1 yr $6 million deal (with incentives). When healthy, he’s a legit middle of the order bat. Even if he can’t stay healthy, a league market team like the Cubs should easily be able to absorb the loss given how low payrolls dropped.

      • C. Steadman

        i think Harts OF days are over though or else I agree

      • Norm

        Hart is a 1B at this point. His knees are shot.

  • Blackhawks1963

    2014 Cubs will struggle mightily to be be consistent on offense. Oh well. Patience Grasshopper.

    LF – Lake / ?
    CF – Sweeney / ?
    RF – Schierholz / Ruggiano
    3rd – Olt ? / Valbuena
    SS – Castro
    2nd – Valbuena / Barney
    1st – Rizzo
    Cat – Castillo, Kottaras

    • DocPeterWimsey

      There is no reason to think that they’ll be inconsistent. They just won’t be very good.

      • Jono

        Exactly. People use inconsistent like it’s a synonym for bad. It’s not. A team that’s consistently bad is not inconsistent. They’re just consistently bad.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          I think that the underlying misconception is that *when* Darwin Barney and Babe Ruth hit home runs, they are just as good. Barney is more “inconsistent” than Ruth because Barney is not as good as often as Ruth is (or was).

          That is sort of like saying that women are less consistent than men because they don’t grow as tall as often as men do. (Or that men are inconsistent because they cannot stop at average woman’s height as often as women do.)

    • Blublud

      C Castillo/Kottaras IF Rizzo, Barney, Castro, Valbuena, Olt, Watkins OF Lake, Schierholtz, Sweeney, Vitters, +1. THis team is not all tht horrible. They aren’t going to lead the league in scoring, but they should be horrible either.

      • ssckelley

        I agree, I keep preaching that the Cubs are not that far from being competitive in 2014. If they get any kind of bounce back out of Barney, Castro, and Rizzo the offense should be improved. Also as long as they stay away from resigning relievers like Camp and Marmol the bullpen should be much improved, which is a big reason why they got off to such a horrible start last season.

        Add me to the small group of fans who think the Cubs will be improved next season.

        • C. Steadman

          im in that group…end of 2014 will be better than end of 2013 IMO

      • aaronb

        That looks like a middle of the pack PCL lineup.

      • jt

        “They aren’t going to lead the league in scoring, but they should be horrible either.”
        –blublud
        pretty bad… better than 2013 but pretty bad.

    • ssckelley

      that whole grasshopper thing is getting annoying

    • Ivy Walls

      post ASB lineup

      LF – Bryant/ Jackson/Lake
      CF – Sweeney /Ruggiano/Lake
      RF – Olt/Valbuena/Lake
      3B- Baez/ Valbuena/Lake
      SS – Castro/Murphy
      2nd – Alcantara/Valbuena /Lake
      1st – Rizzo/Bryant
      Cat – Castillo, Kottaras

      • Ivy Walls

        look for Soler to be up in September

      • Chad

        1. Lake will not be in the infield.
        2. Valbuena is not an OF

        Are you assuming that Barney gets traded? You are going to have some guys sitting that should not be sitting. I don’t think there is anyway that Baez, Bryant, and Alcantara are all in Chicago prior to September call ups.

        • C. Steadman

          i wouldnt count out Baez, bc he could completely destroy the PCL…otherwise agree that Bryant and Alcantara arent up till Sept

          • noisesquared

            I think if I saw a regular September line up of:

            Lake CF
            Castro SS
            Rizzo 1B
            Baez 2B
            Olt 3B
            Bryant LF
            Sweeney RF
            Castillo C

            I’d be happy with that and would pay for tickets to watch, regardless of record.

            • rockin’ dawg

              That OF is still a little suspect. Hopefully, Soler and Almora will progress on or ahead of schedule. With Alcantara and Lake as utility guys, that could be a really good YOUNG line-up! Now about pitching….

            • Jono

              Baez, bryant and olt being in the lineup? Sign me up!

  • Mtrlill

    I really liked and rooted for Bogusevic especially being a local Chicago product. He is a very good guy, solid player with a sweet lefty swing that didn’t get a whole lot of credit. I hope he does great things down in Miami.

  • Tennessee Cub

    The Cubbies will be so bad next year. I hate to say it, but they will. They better start some renovations and get people in the park or attendance is going WAY DOWN!! They also better hope Baez and Company are ready at all star break or no need to come watch anything. I was more excited watching last year’s team at AA, than the MLB team. Sad, sad ,sad time to be a Cub Fan and I don’t see us being any better (playoff) for the next two years for sure, maybe even three. By the way, what is our current payroll expected to be and where is it as of today?

  • C. Steadman

    Cubs are rumored in on Kurt Suzuki still…per mlb trade rumors…also Rockies and Twins…if i had to guess, the Twins would probably be the favorite since they are probably converting Mauer now

    • Jay

      Why would we still have any interest in Suzuki now that we got that tower of offense Kotteras?

      • C. Steadman

        idk, thats certainly interesting, but its posted on mlbtraderumors.com at 1:00am this morning…Rockers also have a starting C too so i think the favorite is Twins

  • http://BN Sacko

    Our and BP is in a lot better shape then the last 2 years however if this is our line up and our SP there is little to no improvement maybe even worse. It doesn’t look like we are upgrading SP unless we get Tanaka and we won’t. If we are getting 2 more starters then we will see Shark traded in July. There is little doubt in my mind, anymore with this pathetic winter meeting and line up that Shark wants out of here.

  • kevin

    Hey Brett, with all this talk on outfielders, where does Brett Jackson stand? I see he is still on the active roster. Thanks.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Total wild card. Unfortunately there’s little reason, at this point, to believe that he’ll be able to overcome the significant contact issues. It’s a shame, because he does everything else – literally everything else – well. The Cubs will probably hold onto him this year to see if somehow he re-emerges at AA/AAA, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

  • waffle

    what is the consensus for when the first of the big 4 will hit the bigs? If it is late next year say (optimistic but possible) then some signings would be unwise. I suspect they will want the kids to get their AB’s and time in the field if they are brought up.

    I would still like to see another pitcher or 2 this off season

    • C. Steadman

      Baez will be up this year

      • Required

        I think Bryant will be up this year when the expand the roster.

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  • Jason P

    So is this it for the Cubs in the OF market? It would be pretty disappointing is it is.

    • willis

      I think so. They’ll give Vitters every chance to win the 5th OF spot in the Spring, and if he can’t then Watkins can play a little OF. I’m hoping Vitters kicks ass and stays healthy ini the Spriing and gets the shot to be that 5th OF. Another RH to play against lefties.

      • C. Steadman

        Casper Wells could be another guy who could win it outta spring training

  • Required

    Remember the good ole days where we didn’t platoon anything. Guys played their position until they were hurt or needed a day off. They played because they were good. Anymore it’s like we’re trying to use two or three players to get one good one. I always have been against platooning. To me it eats up roster spots to have six outfielders on a team.

    • Edwin

      On the other hand, platooning can be a great way to get a ton of value for a player with a limited but strong skillset. Depth and platoon advantages are turning into one of the more efficeint ways to build a roster. Just look at the A’s or Rays.

      • Required

        I must sound like I’m 150. I’m just saying guys played their position because they were good at ALL aspects of the game. Not just against lefties or righties, or defense.

    • C. Steadman

      ahhh 1906-1908…Tinkers-Evers-Chance…those were the good ole days :P

  • C. Steadman

    ahhh 1906-1908…Tinkers-Evers-Chance…those were the good ole days :P

    • C. Steadman

      shit..dang reply button

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  • Phil Oddo

    Good pick up by the Cubs not the best but still better than Bogusevic.

  • Chuck24

    Ruggiano is a decent pickup….especially for Bogusevic. Got some pop and can play good defense. However, that said, the Cubs have done nothing yet to remotely get anybody excited about 2014′s prospects. Lockup Samardzija now and get it over with.

  • T

    After nine seasons as GM Jim Hendry’s win loss record was 749-748 and the Cubs were 5 outs from the World Series in one of those years. For the 2011-2012 seasons the Cubs are 127-197 and are still pretty far away from a World Series. I understand that it is a rebuild and it takes time, but the Cubs better start getting their win on soon, or they may put Jim Hendry to shame.

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