Justin Ruggiano Rumors

Marlins Notes: Moran, Deluzio, Ruggiano, Payroll

Ricky Nolasco shared some emotional goodbyes with his Marlins teammates on Sunday morning, the right-hander told Andre C. Fernandez of the Miami Herald, but he is excited about going home to southern California and pitching for the Dodgers.  The Marlins figure to have more moves up their sleeves before the trade deadline so here's the latest out of the Sunshine State...

  • The Marlins are confident they will be able to sign first round draft pick Colin Moran, though they're not sure about third-rounder Ben Deluzio, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports.  The Marlins have offered both players contracts that match the assigned slot prices of the sixth (approximately $3.516MM) and 80th ($681.7K) overall picks.  While Moran is coming out of UNC, Deluzio is a high schooler who "is reportedly leaning toward attending Florida State."
  • Also from Spencer, he thinks pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs and relievers Chad Qualls and Ryan Webb could all be dealt before the trade deadline.  The two right-handers have already drawn interest from reliever-needy teams.
  • We heard earlier today that the Yankees, Rangers and other teams had checked in on Justin Ruggiano but the Marlins aren't particularly interested in dealing the outfielder, Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.  Moving Ruggiano could create a depth problem in the outfield given Chris Coghlan's injury status, Christian Yelich's relative under-performance in Double-A and the team's desire to keep Jake Marisnick off the 40-man roster this season.
  • The Nolasco trade seemed to be primarily about dumping salary in 2013 rather than building for the future for the Marlins, Fangraphs' David Cameron opines.  Cameron wonders if situations like this could lead the MLB Players Association to seek some type of "salary floor" in the next collective bargaining agreement.

Rosenthal On Buyers/Sellers, Arrieta, Ruggiano

Ken Rosenthal's latest column for FOX Sports begins with a look at the Phillies, Giants, Rockies, Padres, and Blue Jays, five teams currently on the bubble of buying and selling.  The Padres have been eager to buy, rival executives tell Rosenthal.  Other notes from the article:

  • Rosenthal provides insight into the July 2011 three-team deal that sent Erik Bedard to Boston.  As it turns out, the Dodgers are looking pretty good now with big leaguers Stephen Fife and Tim Federowicz.  At the time of the deal, they were questioned for including Trayvon Robinson.
  • "I thought it was an awesome trade by the Cubs," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis told Rosenthal of Chicago's acquisition of Jake Arrieta from Baltimore.
  • The Reds have "thinned out their talent base" in trades over the last several years, opines Rosenthal, which could make significant acquisitions this summer difficult.
  • The Rangers and Yankees are among the teams that have expressed interest in Marlins outfielder Justin Ruggiano.  Ruggiano, a 31-year-old right-handed hitter, is at .225/.290/.414 in 273 plate appearances this year. 
  • The Mariners have put a high price tag on Tom Wilhelmsen and it seems like they want to keep the closer in the fold.  Rosenthal notes that another team recently asked about Wilhelmsen and the M's wanted that club's top pitching prospect in return.

West Notes: Ethier, Marcum, Ruggiano, Ankiel

Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier has been the subject of trade rumors all winter, but the veteran isn't buying into the notion that he'll be playing elsewhere come Opening Day, writes Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times“I haven’t looked too much into it,” Ethier said. “It’s something I see as rumors. I think Ned was pretty quick to say there was nothing to it. That was enough to ease my mind, even though obviously there was a lot following that."

Here's the latest news and headlines from both the AL and NL West...

  • The Mariners and Rangers both had discussions with Shaun Marcum before the veteran elected to sign with the Mets, writes Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com (via Twitter). As a result, each team remains in the hunt for starting pitching.
  • Astros GM Jeff Luhnow has some regrets for trading Justin Ruggiano to the Marlins last spring, but likes the player he received in Jobduan Morales, says Brian McTaggart of MLB.com (on Twitter). 
  • Houston manager Bo Porter believes Rick Ankiel will make the big league roster out of Spring Training if he can play up to his potential, writes Dave Zangaro of CSNHouston.com. “He will add leadership. He will add a veteran presence in the lineup. You look at his ability to play defense, I watched him make some throws and make some catches that make you shake your head. This guy’s phenomenal.”

Quick Hits: Greinke, Hunter, Ruggiano, Marlins

Here's the latest from around the league as Wednesday turns into Thursday...

  • There doesn't appear to have been much contract dialogue between the Brewers and Zack Greinke, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. As of today, there is no evidence that a formal offer has been made even though we heard last week that the team was prepared to make one.
  • Torii Hunter told Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times that he's willing to take a big paycut to return to the Angels next season. Hunter is in the final year of his five-year, $90MM deal. If things don't work out with the Halos, the outfielder said he would consider playing for the Yankees, Rangers, or Dodgers. Retirement would be an option as well.
  • The Marlins have no intention of trading Justin Ruggiano, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). The 30-year-old outfielder is hitting .368/.440/.705 in 111 plate appearances for Miami this season.
  • Frisaro also notes (on Twitter) that the Marlins are not dangling Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Reyes, or Mark Buehrle. Yesterday we heard that the team could become sellers if they don't turn things around in the coming weeks.
  • The Yankees, Tigers, and Royals were all on hand to watch Wandy Rodriguez get knocked around by the Padres this afternoon according to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com. The left-hander remains available before the trade deadline.

Marlins Acquire Justin Ruggiano From Astros

The Marlins have acquired outfielder Justin Ruggiano from the Astros in exchange for minor league catcher Jobduan Morales, according to Alyson Footer of the Astros (via Twitter). 

Ruggiano, 30, appeared in 46 big league games for the Rays in 2011 before signing a minor league deal with the Astros in February.  The outfielder was off to a strong start with Triple-A Oklahoma City this year, hitting .325/.409/.581 in 138 plate appearances.

Morales, 20, spent the bulk of the year with Miami's New York-Pennsylvania League affiliate, hitting .272/.385/.450 in 52 games.  The switch-hitter was the Marlins' ninth-round pick in 2009.

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