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Miami Marlins trade Justin Ruggiano to Chicago Cubs for Brian Bogusevic

The Miami Marlins have whipped out yet another deal, as they sent Justin Ruggiano to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Brian Bogusevic.


The Miami Marlins continue to make deals in the last hours of the 2013 Winter Meetings. The Fish have traded backup outfielder Justin Ruggiano to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Brian Bogusevic.

The Marlins were due to pay approximately $1.8 million for Ruggiano's services as a fourth outfielder behind a number of prospects. The Marlins expect to start either Marcell Ozuna or Jake Marisnick in center field and Christian Yelich in left field, leaving Ruggiano as a backup player. Last season, Ruggiano struggled to a .222/.298/.396 (.307 wOBA) batting line and put up just about a one-win season for the Fish.

The Marlins are swapping him with Bogusevic, who is a left-handed version of Ruggiano. Last year, Bogusevic played to a .273/.323/.462 (.339 wOBA) line, and combined with around average defense, he was able to put up a one-win season, but in only 155 plate appearances. For his career he has hit .236/.313/.370 (.303 wOBA), but Steamer and Oliver are reasonably optimistic about his offense, projecting around a.249/.328/.388 (.315 wOBA) batting line. Like Ruggiano, Bogusevic has a reasonable amount of experience at all three outfield positions, though he is more of a corner player. He has also played good defense in those spots, earning high praise from defensive metrics.

This move is essentially a sideways move, with the Marlins acquiring a younger version of the same player. The advantage for Miami is that they shed about $1.3 million in salary commitments via arbitration, as Bogusevic is due to reach arbitration next year. This makes sense for the Marlins, as they can avoid paying Ruggiano more than two of their three starting outfielders. There may even be a marginal defensive gain from acquiring the speedier Bogusevic.

This does not affect Miami's roster a significant way, but could pave the way for the Fish to make another small signing under their current budget constraints. Combined with shedding Logan Morrison's expected $1.7 million salary, Miami has opened almost $3 million to make a move towards either a third base stopgap or another reliever.