By Bruce Levine-
ORLANDO, Fla. (CBS) – Adding a right-handed hitter with some pop, the Chicago Cubs added some depth to their outfield mix as they departed the winter meetings.
Chicago obtained Justin Ruggiano from the Miami Marlins for Chicagoland native Brian Bogusevic. Ruggiano will play all three outfield positions in a platoon with left-hand hitting outfielders Nate Schierholtz and Ryan Sweeney.
The 31-year-old outfielder has hit 31 home runs in the last two seasons, while bating .281 in a part-time role with the Marlins.
“We feel he is a good fit for our roster,” said general manager Jed Hoyer on Thursday. “He hits left-handed pitching well. He can platoon with the left-handed hitters we have and play all three outfield positions. We are excited to work out a deal for him.”
Although this is not a blockbuster trade, it does address a need the club had to add some right-handed juice to the lineup. Bogusevic was a nice player but a duplication with Sweeney and Schierholtz in the mix.
Junior Lake should not be impacted by this deal. The plan is to try and get Lake 500 at-bats in 2014.
“Junior Lake is going to get a ton of playing time, ” Hoyer said. “A player like that belongs out there getting at-bats. I don’t see this affecting Junior.”
The Cubs will continue to look for bullpen help both through the free-agent route and trade talks. The big offseason move will be to bid on Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, if and when he is posted by his Japanese team.
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