Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
The Miami Marlins are looking for a center fielder, according to Ken Rosenthal. Lucky for Miami, they already have one. Just ask the guy playing there now, Justin Ruggiano.
Much of the offseason drama for the Miami Marlins has likely come and gone, as J. Lo's crew counts down the days until spring training and actual games are being played. And while the "hot stove" in Miami has been as cold as ever in recent days, today we finally learned a new rumor/tidbit, courtesy of Fox Sports national baseball columnist/bow tie enthusiast, Ken Rosenthal:
How 'bout that, y'all? The Marlins have their eye on a center fielder! From outside the organization! Exclamation points!
In all seriousness, a trade for Peter Bourjos, as Rosenthal points out, would in fact be highly unlikely given the state of Miami farm system and that Bourjos wouldn't be an upgrade that would put the club in contention for a playoff spot by any means. But then again, anything with this team is possible and I like to imagine this was a tweet from Rosenthal's draft folder until the Toronto deal:
@Ken_Rosenthal: Uh, by the way, #BlueJays need a SS, LHP, IF, and RHP. Would love to trade for #Marlins' Reyes, Johnson, Buehrle, and Bonifacio in the same deal (impossible), or maybe sign some FAs.
The best part about Rosenthal's real-life tweet, though, was the response he received from the Marlins' real-life current center field, Justin Ruggiano:
@ken_rosenthal no we don't. I got this.— Justin Ruggiano (@justinruggiano) November 29, 2012
The response drew rave reviews from Rosenthal and others around the Twitterverse, going viral rather quickly.
On the field in 2012, Ruggiano was injury-prone but still managed put up a solid line of .313/.374/.535 in 91 games for the Fish. His absurdly-high .401 BABIP and high strikeout / low walk rates indicate that he's likely due to regress next season, but he may still have a point. With the amount of turnover Miami has experienced in just a few short weeks this winter, there's no point in investing resources (whether it be money or prospects) in players for the heck of it, and the club may as well give Ruggiano a shot to hold down the fort in center until he proves that he can't.
Justin Ruggiano may not be the long-term answer in center field but he's at least got a sense of humor, something that has become an necessary tool for Marlins fans over the last few months.