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Cubs Trade Justin Ruggiano To Mariners

This has to be the prelude to another deal, wouldn't you think?

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

There have been rumors surrounding outfielder Justin Ruggiano for some time; he didn't seem to be a fit for the 2015 Cubs, and now he'll be plying his trade in Seattle. Via press release from the Cubs:

The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitching prospect Matt Brazis from the Seattle Mariners for outfielder Justin Ruggiano.

Brazis, 25, is 8-6 with 14 saves and a 2.89 ERA (51 ER/158.2 IP) in 100 minor league relief appearances covering three seasons in the Mariners minor league system. He split the 2014 campaign between Single-A High Desert and Double-A Jackson, going 4-1 with six saves and a 2.36 ERA (19 ER/72.1 IP) in 40 appearances. Brazis struck out 84 batters and walked only 18 in 72.1 innings pitched.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Brazis was originally selected by the Mariners in the 28th round of the 2012 Draft out of Boston College. 

Ruggiano, 32, batted .281 (63-for-224) with six home runs and 28 RBI in 81 games for the Cubs last year.  He was acquired by the Cubs from the Miami Marlins for outfielder Brian Bogusevic on December 12, 2013.

Ruggiano got off to a slow start in 2014 and then missed time with a hamstring injury. After he returned from the injury at the end of May he hit .291/.343/.444 and played all three outfield positions. Though I was down on him at first, he certainly provided value in return for Brian Bogusevic, who didn't play in the major leagues at all in 2014.

While Brazis could get into the Cubs' bullpen mix, he has yet to play in the major leagues and won't be added to the team's 40-man roster. That opens up a 40-man spot and I would think another outfielder will be added soon, perhaps Jonny Gomes, who's been rumored to be coming to the Cubs for several weeks.

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