1:01pm: The Rangers confirmed the signing via press release.
1:00pm: It’s a one-year, $1.65MM deal (plus incentives) for Ruggiano, according to Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram (on Twitter).
11:13am: The Rangers are hoping to announce a deal with outfielder Justin Ruggiano today, according to Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram (on Twitter). On Wednesday, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) noted that the Rangers were working on a one-year major league deal with Ruggiano. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News recently reported on the Rangers’ interest in Ruggiano as a right-handed depth piece.
Ruggiano is a very tough out for opposing southpaws, creating a solid fit with the heavily left-handed Texas lineup. The 33-year-old turned things on after he was demoted early on by the Mariners, raking at Triple-A and even slashing a cool .291/.350/.618 in his sixty plate appearances with the Dodgers. For his career, Ruggiano owns a .256/.321/.436 slash line across seven seasons with the Rays, Marlins, Cubs, Mariners, and Dodgers. His lifetime line against lefties, of course, is a lot sharper: .272/.336/.520.
Interestingly, Wilson hears that Ruggiano will try out the first base position during spring training. The Austin, Texas native has never played first base in his big league career.