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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.

  • Jason P

    At least Ruggiano’s got some power. Even if it’s not exactly exciting, probably the right move.

  • papabear

    wow – the Cubs really are going to do nothing – Ruggiano’s not even a platoon player.

    • C. Steadman

      rather have Ruggiano than Bogey…provides more offense

      • terencemann

        I’d definitely rather have Ruggiano. I like this move even if it’s a small one.

        • CubFan Paul

          Boogz would provide more offense as the LH side of a platoon. Sweeney made him expendable.

    • Cub Fan Dan

      Career 834 OPS, .250 ISO, & 127 wOBA vs lefties not to mention most of it in Marlins Park, so yes…he is at the very least a platoon player.

      • Hookers or Cake

        And he’s got a little speed. 22 out of 29 SBs vs RH. His numbers are weighed down a little by always starting vs LH and going 10 out of 20 vs them.

        This is a nice move.

        • Hookers or Cake

          Also I remember the Marlins tried Rugianio at 1st a little late last year.

          • C. Steadman

            I think you’re thinking of LoMo at 1st…Ruggiano has only played OF in his career

    • Randy

      Agree papabear

    • Greg

      Couldn’t agree more. Has been a very boring off season. I would have rather kept Bogusevic

      • C. Steadman

        Ruggiano makes more sense for the Cubs

  • Patrick G

    Little bit of speed and power. Not bad at all for Bogs

  • MichiganGoat

    We’ve gone from needing to be more left handed to needing more righty, Sweet Lou must just be facepalming over all this.

  • cub2014

    ruggiano is the right handed version of schierholtz,
    leads me to believe that no other OF are coming.
    Unless you trade Schierholtz and sign and trade for
    a starting outfielder.
    I think we are looking at Sweeney and Ruggiano
    splitting time. Lake as your regular. Schierholtz
    with Vitters getting some AB.

  • Required

    I would rather have traded Schierholtz. I liked Bogusevic. Oh well. Best if luck Brian.

    • CubFan Paul

      Schierholtz can still be traded (for more) and replaced with Sweeney.

  • Rebuilding

    I like this move. If Ruggiano is truly the player somewhere between his great 2012 and his poor 2013 then he gives you some pop from the right-side with great defense. Looks like platoons everywhere in the OF – which is good considering the players involved

  • papabear

    wow – Cubs could have the worst outfield in all of baseball. Maybe all time

    • C. Steadman

      2012 astros were definitely worse…and MLB was founded in 1876 so im guessing there are probably other teams that had worse as well..

  • Eric

    Hopefully this means that they are serious about giving Lake and Vitters plenty of time to prove they can handle the majors.

    • cub2014

      I think this move is bad news for Vitters and
      good news for Lake (as far as playing time goes)

      • commander bob

        vitters?

      • Dumpgobbler

        I think its good all around. Vitters will play if he’s better. We can probably pencil in Justin Ruggiano as a guy that can come in, play LF and slug some. Probably not going to take the world by storm, but enough to hopefully make the OF more respectable. If Vitters can’t at least hit that mark then he’s probably not going to make a difference in the end anyways.

  • Kyle

    Balances OF and kinda intriguing upside

  • Coldneck

    I like the moderate power. That is needed on this team. I like the ability to play all OF positions. I like his stats from 2012, not so much 2013. He’s basically a 31 year old 4th or 5th OFer that provides utility to this team. My problem is not with him, but with the top 3 OFers that will be starting more frequently.

  • chrisfchi

    Bogs grew up a few blocks away from me. Sad to see a hometown kid go but best of luck to him

    • commander bob

      Ruggs grew up three blocks from me. Should get 30 hrs and 87 RBI from him. The little devil theo salvaged the winter meetings after all.

      • YourResidentJag

        He has tremendous upside that’s for sure.

  • EQ76

    **yawn*** wake me up in 2016

  • MADDMAZZ

    If this is the best Theo and Co. Can do at the winter meetings they should have stay home.

    • Dumpgobbler

      I can understand being upset about not doing to much overall, but this is a good move. We give up Bogusevic. Little to hate about this move IMHO.

  • Norm

    man…one day its “I just want the Cubs to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING”. The next day it’s “If this is the best they can do, F ‘em”.

  • Stevie B

    I can’t, with a straight face, say the 2014 Cubs will not truly suck.

    Suck, like worse than the last 2 years.

    We’ve made some pitching improvements ( or have we???) Garza and Fieldman gone, with no viable equal additions….

    Bullpen looks great ( wait, um, not really…) Hey, we did get rid of Marmol !

    Yup, gonna suck pretty bad. What does the draft class of 2015 look like??????

    • TulaneCubs

      It’s December, there’s still a lot of offseason left.

      But, yes, no matter what they do next year’s team will not be good. Which isn’t exactly a surprise.

    • EQ76

      Yeah, in most rebuilds, the 3rd year looks better than the first 2. When you are a major market team, one of the top 3-5 most popular teams in your sport and play in one of the most celebrated parks in all of sports, you shouldn’t be worse in the 3rd year of a rebuild. This is pathetic.

      • C. Steadman

        im willing to bet the end of 2014 will look better than the end of 2013

      • Voice of Reason

        Come off the ledge… it’s going to be ok!

        There is plenty to get excited about with the future of this team. You just have to be patient.

        They are investing money in other areas of the organization. It won’t equate in to wins next year, but it will in two years.

        Hoyer came out and specifically said they will not be signing any big names or high price free agents so this should come as no surprise at all.

        The money will be there in the future when we need to fill holes through trades and free agency. We just need to be patient and in two years we will certainly have an idea of what kids are going to be playing in the bigs.

        • Jon

          Actually, we got conflicting reports from Hoyer and Ricketts about when the money will actually be there. Tom basically shrugged his shoulders and said he has no idea. They can’t start their business plan.

          • TulaneCubs

            Tom Ricketts is not going to disclose information to the media that’s going to hurt himself in a negotiation. I’m not sure why anyone was expecting specific dates or anything like that. Until the negotiations with the rooftops are complete, expect a lot of vague timelines because providing specific timelines would just be shooting themselves in the foot.

        • EQ76

          I was never expecting high priced free agents or major names, this move is not much different than a minor league signing.. I’m hoping for some decent moves. It seems like the past 2 off seasons we made some moderately exciting moves, this year.. nothing.

          We look much, much worse to start this year off. Garza is gone, Feldman is gone. Sori is gone. There are major steps down in regards to their replacements.

          I am excited about what the future might bring with the farm system, but this MLB team has been awful and extremely difficult to watch on TV. I’m not asking for the stupid signings and over the top contract offers, I am asking for a watchable product to be put on the field in Chicago.

          If Rizzo and Castro don’t rebound this year, we are in for another 100 loss season and a team that is unbearable to watch play for the third year in a row.

          • Voice of Reason

            Let’s hope some of the kids are ready to come up with the big club sometime in 2014? Otherwise, you’re right, this team will be unbearable to watch.

            Either way, it’s another 95+ loss season for the Lovable Losers!

  • Greg

    This move would feel much more satisfying if Schierholtz, Ruggiano, Sweeney, and Lake were sharing 2 outfield spots.

    • CubFan Paul

      It’s December 12th

      • EQ76

        it’s 10:06 am

        • hansman

          I’ve got 9:09

        • CubFan Paul

          You missed it. It went right over your head.

        • Greg

          Those are all true statements. Things will certainly change by Spring. To be more direct, if there were another starting-caliber outfielder on this team, I would be even more intrigued by the platoon possibilities here. I hope that another guy is brought in, although I hope that guy isn’t Nelson Cruz or an overpay on a 30+ year old veteran.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I hope that’s how things play out, but we should probably be bracing ourselves for a Lake-Sweeney-Schierholtz outfield, with Ruggiano and another righty platoon type mixing in.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I can’t say that Bogusevic was that valuable so it’s pretty much a dice roll. Makes sense from a platoon aspect to have equal balance in the outfield. Bogusevic was pretty much in the mold of Sweeny without as much upside. But I liked Bogusevics defense and his arm. I hope Ruggiano is a good defender.

  • Luis

    Optimized Lineup:

    Starlin
    Rizzo
    Lake
    Schierholtz
    Castillo
    Sweeney/Ruggiano
    Olt/Valbuena
    Barney

    • Eric

      More like:

      Castro
      Lake/Ruggiano
      Rizzo
      Schierholtz/Ruggiano
      Olt
      Sweeney/Ruggiano
      Castillo
      Valbuena/Barney

    • Jon

      Optimized for 97 losses.

    • abe

      That should give us the first pick in the draft. I hope next years draft is as good as this year!!

  • Jon

    The deal for the Cubs was grabbing Granderson to play left field for a few years until Soler arrives(provided he actually meets his potential). 15 for 4 years and I still think he’s a good bet to give you 3+ wins a year in left with some decent pop.

    • C. Steadman

      Soler’s a RF though

    • Voice of Reason

      Great, so if we would have signed Granderson we would lose 96 games instead of 99!

      • gocatsgo2003

        Thank you for already posting the point I was thinking while reading that post. And it would only cost us an additional $15MM every year to suck slightly less!

    • rockin’ dawg

      I was hoping we would sign Rajai Davis to hold down CF for two years until Almora arrives. Cheaper similar thought. Davis is off the board now, though.

  • Johnnie A

    it looks like we have potential platoons at RF, CF, 3B, or maybe 2B. Is it possible we could add Nelson Cruz to play LF for 2/30MM or 3/45? He could potentially contribute to a contending team in 2016 or we could flip him before that if he rebounds. I know he is looking for a much bigger contract but I’m not sure it’s out there for him. This is probably wishful thinking but I think it would be one way to be reasonably interesting this year without negatively impacting the future.

    • Greg
    • Voice of Reason

      I’d be on board with a Nelson Cruz sign for the Cubs.

      He made $10.5 million last year and he’s coming off a roids suspension. How about 2 years and $22 million? That’s a pay increase and gives him a chance to rebuild his value? He might slip to us as there could be teams hesitant to give him a chance knowing he was juicing!

      And, if he produces at $11 million a year, he’s a flipable asset!

      • Norm

        It’ll take at least 3 years to sign this DH.
        And he’s not worth it. He kinda sucks.
        But at least it’ll fool the fans into thinking it was an “impact” move and maybe we’ll get rid of the “they’re doing nothing” monotony.

        • cubsfan08

          I have no doubt the impatient would be somewhat please by that. And its easy for them to discount it by simply saying “oh well, it didn’t work out, at least they tried.”

          That rationale doesn’t really work when you pretty much knew he was gonna suck in the first place. And if that wasted money winds up limiting the team in the future – its even more stupid/wasteful

      • Jon

        Why should we sign Nelson Cruz? So we can lose 98 games instead of 99?

        Nelson Cruz is awful and Junior Lake will outproduce him next year.

        • gocatsgo2003

          Umm… why is Nelson Cruz subject to this type of logic, but not Curtis Granderson?

          • Jon

            Actually I think logic is dumb, I was just mocking VOR who mentioned it when I suggested Granderson, then he turns around and argues for Cruz, who is actually terrible.

            • TWC

              “Actually I think logic is dumb”

              I don’t think anyone is surprised.

              • Jon

                Here’s a newsflash some of you need to understand. This isn’t the fucking NBA. You don’t have to tank. You can make incremental improvements to your club without affecting long term projections.

                • cub2014

                  you f….ing have to tank to get a top
                  5 pick (almora,bryant,baez)

                  • C. Steadman

                    yeah bc if you’re the worst in the NBA you might not even get the #1 pick! lottery problems…

                  • brickhouse

                    2 out of 3 players you named weren’t top 5 picks

                  • Pat

                    Why do we need a top five pick? How is Theo going to fulfill his sustained success and waves and waves of talent promises if he has to pick in the top five to have a successful draft?

                • TWC

                  ::hugs for Jon::

            • gocatsgo2003

              At least bonus points for consistency?

        • Voice of Reason

          Cause you’ll be tieing up $22 million for Cruz over two years instead of $60 million for Granderson over 4. That’s a big difference.

          You might be able to flip Cruz if he produces. If he doesn’t produce then the Cubs aren’t out a ton of money.

          Granderson becomes less likely to be flipped because of the length and terms.

          Cruz might help appease some people who are crying for the Cubs to sign a bigger name free agent and if he produces, he could help the turnstyles move a bit?

          • gocatsgo2003

            Either way you’re looking at spending $11-$15MM for at least two likely-uncompetitive years in order to move from something like 99 losses to 96 losses. I don’t see the business sense in either move.

          • C. Steadman

            we arent going to sign a draft-comp player just to flip him after half a year…thats a dumb FO move

            • C. Steadman

              we lose a 2nd rounder for a half a year of decent results in a lost 2014 season anyway…not smart for a rebuild

          • Norm

            You’re not getting him for 2 – $22M.

            • Voice of Reason

              If you can’t get him for 2-$22 then pass.

              I’m just saying that if he slips to us I’d be on board with that. It doesn’t sound like he will slip to us, though.

              I was just responding to someone suggesting the Cubs look into signing him….

          • Jon

            1) Nelson Cruz sucks. I repeat sucks. He wasn’t even that good on the juice, I cringe to think how he will do without it.

            2) Cruz just turned down 5/75 from the Mariners so I like to know how this 2/22 million dollar deal works out in your fantasy land.

            • EQ76

              haha… Nelson Cruz sucks? Have you seen the load of crap in our outfield? Cruz would hands down be our best hitter.. if he sucks, how bad is the rest of our lineup?

              • Jon

                In his last full (non ped suspension) year, 2012, Nelson Cuz produced a grand 1.1 Wins.

                Some of you idiots need to look two or three basic stats.

                • Jon

                  *look beyond.

                • EQ76

                  wow dick, thanks for calling me an idiot.. I never said I’m for signing him or that he’s a great hitter, I was referring to how awful our current players are in comparison to someone you think sucks. It was more of a bash on our awful collection of outfield “talent”.

                  • Jon

                    Our current outfield sucks. Nelson Cruz also sucks. I’m not a fan of adding more suck, on top of suck.

                    • EQ76

                      true, but he would be the 2nd or 3rd best hitter on this team, once again, referring to how bad our lineup is. I’m not so sure we have much room to talk about other players sucking so bad when our collection of crap is much worse.

                  • DarthHater

                    His name is Jon, not Dick. You’re welcome. :-P

                    • Jon

                      Six of one, 1/2 of the other.

                    • EQ76

                      My “name” is EQ76, not “Idiot”.

                    • DarthHater

                      And there you have the title for your autobiography. Congratulations. :-D

                • Voice of Reason

                  Kind of like how you looked at the stats when you compared
                  Ellsbury and Rasmus and determined Rasmus will put up the same numbers in 2014 as Ellsbury?

                  • Voice of Reason

                    that comment is for jon, the stat analyzer of BN! Not for EQ76

                    • Jon

                      Tell me more about that 22 million dollar, 2 year deal for Nelson Cruz in VOR Fantasy Land.

                    • Voice of Reason

                      Only after you tell me how you concluded that Rasmus will put up the same stats as Ellsbury in 2014.

                  • Jon

                    As for the Elsbury caparison, it’s not that hard to fathom how Rasmus could produce similar numbers.

                    Rasmus does everything as good offensively and actually hits for more power, plays equally as good defense in Center.

                    The only thing Elsbury has is the stolen bases, which I think is going to dry up shorty.

                    • Voice of Reason

                      Oh, you THINK that his stolen bases will dry up shortly! Well then, that changes everything! lol

                      Rasmus will not put up similar numbers to Ellsbury at all. I don’t know what you’re smoking, but pass it my way!

                      Are you looking at Colby Rasmus numbers and Jacoby Ellsbury numbers? You’re looking at the right players that you’re comparing, right?

    • C. Steadman

      pass on Cruz, if we wouldnt lose a 2nd round pick then possibly, but i dont want to lose a 2nd round draft pick on a 33 yr old OF coming of a steriod suspension

  • Die hard

    Making moves to be making moves doesn’t move me

  • Soda Popinski

    To break up the seemingly endless stream of negativity lately, I’d like to say I have faith in the front office and I support their plan. I see what they’re doing, and it makes sense to me. I think this view hasn’t been expressed lately due to the nastiness. So here it is. This is out there, now.

    • Revery

      Somebody had to say it.

    • DarthHater

      [img]http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2890/10365146256_88392645e8_n.jpg[/img]

    • TulaneCubs

      Completely agree. I love the path they’re taking and have put my money where my mouth is by purchasing season tickets this year. I don’t want them to buy any of the expensive free agents and would like them to completely focus on Tanaka.

      I think they’ll go all in on Tanaka, buy a top flight FA pitcher next year and another top flight FA the year after that (probably a position player to fill in holes where prospects stagnated). So they’ll go into 2016 with the prospects that have panned out + 3 top flight FAs. Sounds good to me.

  • cub4life

    Brett,

    Who is Tommy Hottovy? I saw on cbssports.com that the Cubs signed him to a minor league contract. What do we know about him?

    • cub4life
    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Will be writing that up at some point. Higher priority stuff so far today. :)

      • cub4life

        I truly understand that sir.

        Oh and for all the true Cubs fans out there I just noticed (this may have been stated already) that former Jerry Hairston Jr has called it a career. Good luck in the after playing life Jerry.

    • ssckelley

      Another former Red Sox minor leaguer.

  • Randy

    Certainly looks like a number draft pick coming soon.

  • North Side Irish

    timdierkes ‏@timdierkes 2m
    Heard Cubs had been competitive on Roberto Hernandez, but he really wanted to go to Philly.

    Cubs could’ve traded him there in July if he wanted to go so bad…

    • JB88

      I think you have to question anyone’s sanity who wants to go to Philly …

  • jt

    There is myth that The Cubs will miss Soriano’s bat. Truth is that he really sucked in the first half of 2013… he got hot for 2 or 3 weeks at the end.
    At the start of 2013 the RH OF platoon was Sappelt and Hairston to go along with Soriano. That was the worst. I mean, the very worst.
    Sweeney may not be as good as the declining DeJesus but he shouldn’t be that much worse. Whoever gets LF will be at least as good as Soriano and Lake/Vitters/Ruggiano are so much better than Sappelt/Hairston.
    The prospects for the current Cub OF is not good. But it is better than it was last year.

    • Voice of Reason

      Whoever plays LF will be at lesat as good as Soriano?

      Wow… strong statement!

      • jt

        “Wow… strong statement!”
        –Voice of Reason
        Soriano’s OPS for his first 79 (thru July 5) 2013 games was 0.705
        For his next and last 14 Cubs games it was 1.032.
        They are not going to replace the Soriano of 1.032 OPS but the 79 continuous games of 0.705… that guy easily gets replaced.

  • ssckelley

    This is not a big move but a good one. The Cubs needed a right handed bat for the outfield and they got rid of a surplus lefty to get one. Not a bad return for a guy they signed dumpster diving.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I was reading a scouting report on Ruggiano and it seems that his SO rate is excessive. Maybe Mueller can fix that. Nobody is talking about the possibility that Vitters will be the fifth outfielder in 2014. But this could possibly be the worst outfield in the league. Schierholtz is the only veteran and has been a life long platoon player. It’s going to be another year where after the first three spots in the order an opposing pitcher will be opposing a line of guys that would be 8 hole hitters on most clubs. Still no protection for Rizzo. Even with a man on first opposing pitchers will walk Rizzo rather that give him a pitch to hit seeing that he is a good double play candidate. Where is all the run production supposed to come from? A beefed up Castro? I mean you figure Lake and Castro to be the first two spots int the order. Aside from Rizzo who won’t see a lot of good pitches who is supposed to be driving home these people? Castillo? I doubt that Schierholtz can duplicate his 2013 numbers. An anemic lineup for sure.

    • C. Steadman

      why cant Schierzholtz duplicate his 2013? yeah his .219 ISO will probably fall back under .200 but he had a 20 pt lower BABIP than his career which suggests his BA/OBP will rise…i also think he’ll get above 20 HR again…i think Nate will have a solid season again

  • Jon

    Still hoping the Cubs might try to get in on Colby Rasmus

    • Norm

      I hope so too. Fans will see the 850+ OPS of last year and 4 fWAR and think “hey, good move!” even though he’ll likely fall back to 2012 numbers.

      • Jon

        His peripherals suggest he’ll avoid falling back to 2012. He’s still only 27, plays good defense in the outfield and stays healthy. I think he’s a good bet to match Elsbury #’s.

        • Norm

          Look at that BABIP and K%. Plus career best HR/FB%.
          I think he’ll struggle to have a .300 OBP next year. Maybe match Soriano’s numbers.

          • C. Steadman

            eh i’ll say 245/315/445 line with 20 HR…i’d rather see what Sweeney can do in CF than trade prospects for Rasmus

            • Norm

              I’d rather get Rasmus if it quiets down fan base and the “they’re doing nothing” ranting everyday. I doubt it would cost much to acquire him.

              • C. Steadman

                Blue Jays want a starting pitcher for him…i dont think Cubs can trade any SP right now that’d take to get that deal done

          • Jon

            Soriano offense combined with gold glove caliber defense in CF(which Rasmus flashed last year) is actually a pretty damn good player.

        • bbmoney

          They do? That k-rate is scary. .356 BABIP doesn’t scream sustainable given his career #s.

        • Voice of Reason

          Jon said: “I think he’s a good bet to match Elsbury #’s.”

          Really?

          Rasmus might steal 5 bases in 2014? Rasmus might hit 20 home runs in 2014? Rasmus might hit .260 in 2014?

          His numbers aren’t even comparable to Ellsbury?

          • Jon

            Rasmus will play in 2014, whereas 2014 will be Elsbury’s DL year.

            • Voice of Reason

              That has nothing to do with your statement that they will put up similar numbers.

              Your comparison of Rasmus and Ellsbury putting up similar numbers is so ridiculous and off base it’s not even funny.

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