Justin Ruggiano, the ultimate AAAA player, declined his assignment to Durham today, becoming a free agent. Ruggiano played 46 games for the Rays last season, bouncing back and forth between Durham and St. Pete.
What this move means is the Rays will not have their go-to injury filler in the minors. Should an outfielder get hurt the Rays will now have to rely on Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer. Ruggiano has never been anything spectacular, hitting .226 in 207 plate appearances in three seasons. He has spent most of his time with the Rays at Durham, spending only 98 games with the big league club. Before last season he had not been with the Rays since 2008.
Rays News and Notes
- In other news, the Rays are close to completing a three year extension with Joe Maddon. The deal should be finalized before pitchers and catchers report. Maddon, as frustrating as he is sometimes, has been a gem since the Rays gave him a shot at managing. Without Maddon, the Rays probably wouldn’t be where they are today.
- Pat Burrell, somebody Rays fans will never forget, appears to be calling it a career. Burrell told ESPN.com that he doesn’t think he can play anymore. The Rays gave Burrell a shot at their DH role in 2009, which turned out to be a complete flop. Burrell was released in the middle of 2010.
- Finally, Marc Topkin discussed a wide array of topics in his weekly roundup. Among the things he discusses: the Rays need for an experienced catcher, their continuing search for a trade partner for Wade Davis or Jeff Niemann, and Joe Maddon’s impending extension.