Outfielder Justin Ruggiano cleared waivers yesterday, and has accepted an outright assignment to AAA Round Rock. This news was tweeted by Texas Rangers' media guy John Blake yesterday, but with all the other transactional drama and the Nomar Mazara excitement, I didn't do a post about it, and we can't let the "Texas Rangers Transactions" section of LSB omit a 40 man roster move.
Ruggiano, of course, was signed as a free agent this offseason to a $1.65M deal, with the plan being for him to platoon with Josh Hamilton. When Hamilton couldn't get healthy and the Rangers signed Ian Desmond, Ruggiano became largely superfluous as a roster piece. Ruggiano made the Opening Day roster, but was designated for assignment when the Rangers needed a 25 and 40 man roster spot for A.J. Griffin for Game 5.
The mystery of why the Rangers would put Ruggiano on the Opening Day roster and then DFA him was cleared up when it was reported that Ruggiano had a split contract that guaranteed him a fairly substantial amount (reportedly $500,000) for his time in the minors, meaning that Ruggiano was unlikely to reject the outright assignment, as he had the right to do. And so Ruggiano is now with the Express, providing corner outfield depth and perhaps continuing to get some work at first base, just in case.