Texas Rangers rumors: Justin Ruggiano is "on the bubble" to make the Texas Rangers Opening Day roster, tweets Ken Rosenthal on Twitter, identifying Ruggiano as a player who could be on the market soon for teams looking for outfield help.
This isn't exactly news -- Ruggiano was originally signed to be a platoon partner for Josh Hamilton while possibly providing backup help at first base, and once Hamilton went down and Ian Desmond was signed to be the everyday left fielder, Ruggiano's role became superfluous. Making things more difficult for Ruggiano is that Ryan Rua, last year's starting left field to open the season, has more experience at first base (and can also play second base and third base), while Ruggiano is reportedly struggling in his efforts to learn to play first base.
At this point, my guess is that Ryan Rua and Chris Gimenez have spots on the Opening Day roster, and with a temporary three man bench situation, one player out of Pedro Ciriaco, Hanser Alberto, Drew Stubbs, and James Jones takes the final spot. That would leave Ruggiano out.
The Rangers only guaranteed Ruggiano $500,000 if he was released, so there's not a huge hit should they let him go. Players signed as free agents can't be traded without their permission prior to June 15, and I'm not sure if the Rangers would even go to Ruggiano and find out whether he'd accept a trade at this point. I'm assuming that, that rule notwithstanding, players signed as free agents can be waived, and it could be a team looking for outfield help (such as the Indians) might put in a claim on Ruggiano, assuming his contract and getting Texas off the hook for half a million.
In any case, with teams looking for outfield help, my guess is Ruggiano will be in the majors somewhere by May 1. But I'm also guessing it won't be with Texas.