Justin Ruggiano is a Texas Ranger, agreeing to a one year major league deal worth $1.65M base, according to Evan Grant. Ruggiano, who has been an outfielder during his career, will reportedly also get some work at first base this spring, with an eye towards having him as an option at first base against lefthanded pitchers.
Ruggiano, who turns 34 in April, gives the Rangers a righthanded bench bat with experience at all three outfield positions. He's a career .256/.321/.436 hitter who has hit .272/.336/.520 in his career against lefthanders, and the Rangers will likely be asking him to start against most lefties, and sit against most righties.
This signing will no doubt be greeted by many with either derision or a shrug, but the Rangers were looking for a cheap righthanded bench bat who could play the outfield and possibly first base, and this fits the bill. This allows the Rangers to start Ryan Rua and Patrick Kivlehan -- other righthanded bench bat candidates -- in the minors, and gives them someone serviceable to share time with Mitch Moreland and/or Josh Hamilton.
The question now is what the Rangers do with their final bench spot -- get another outfielder who is more of a backup center field type, or get a 4C type who would play more first base, meaning Ruggiano would get most of his time in the outfield.