Shortly after the clock struck midnight on the East Coast, which was the deadline to complete any trades this season, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced they acquired outfielder Justin Ruggiano and cash considerations from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for a player to be named later or cash.
The trade is a reunion of sorts as Los Angeles selected Ruggiano in the 25th round of the 2004 draft. With the Dodgers playing shorthanded in the outfield as Kiké Hernandez and Yasiel Puig are both on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, they were said to be targeting reinforcement with the final month of the regular season on the horizon.
Just as was the case prior to the non-waiver deadline, the Dodgers didn’t address their need with a splashy trade, but one that nonetheless should provide some aid.
Ruggiano currently wasn’t on the Mariners’ 40-man roster and has been in Triple-A since late June. The 33 year old spent 36 games up with the Mariners, batting .214/.321/.357 with a 94 OPS+ and 96 wRC+.
In 49 games with Triple-A Tacoma, Ruggiano hit .296/.385/.514 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs. Given that Ruggiano is capable of playing all three outfield positions, he provides additional insurance in the event Joc Pederson continues to struggle.
In other news that pertains to the Dodgers and their quest for a third consecutive National League West division title, the San Francisco Giants acquired outfielder Jose De Aza, who was once linked to the Dodgers.
Despite Ruggiano not being on the Mariners’ 40-man roster at the time of being traded, he’ll be eligible for postseason play with the Dodgers by virtue of being part of the organization prior to Monday’s waiver deadline.