Mariners acquire outfielder Justin Ruggiano from Cubs
The Mariners announced Wednesday that they have acquired outfielder Justin Ruggiano from the Cubs for minor league pitcher Matt Brazis.
Ruggiano, 32, hit .281/.337/.429 with 6 home runs in 81 games (250 plate appearances) this past season for the Cubs.
While Ruggiano is a far cry from the names Seattle was discussing for the outfield – Justin Upton was one of their preferred targets – the expectation is that Ruggiano will be one of their main outfielders, perhaps platooning with James Jones.
The move the Mariners made Wednesday is important to the Mets because it probably eliminates any chance that Seattle shortstop Brad Miller will be used in the outfield.
Miller not being used in the outfield (which seemed like a smokescreen anyway) means that the Mariners still have a logjam at shortstop with both Miller and Chris Taylor.
It’s conceivable that the Mariners make another move to fortify their club, but they recently turned down a deal that would’ve sent Miller and RHP Taijuan Walker to the Nationals for SS Ian Desmond and RHP Jordan Zimmermann.
The Mariners reportedly turned down the above deal because they weren’t interested in parting with so many years of control for two players who are in the last year of their contracts. That same logic would seem to apply to the rumored Justin Upton for Taijuan Walker deal that didn’t come to fruition.
Seattle can say they’re willing to platoon Miller and Taylor and they can say they’re open to Miller playing the outfield. However, if they want to properly maximize value for either Miller or Taylor, the smart move would be to deal one of them for a relatively inexpensive player under team control.
The Mets are reportedly interested in both Miller and Taylor, and Wednesday’s development should only enhance the potential there is of a deal materializing between the Mets and Mariners.