Cubs trade for Ruggiano, Rule 5 draft recap

The Cubs traded for a right-handed hitting outfielder, signed a left-handed relief pitcher, and added a catcher in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 drafts at the winter meetings.

Its been a quiet four days for the Cubs at the winter meetings in but there has been some action in the past 24 hours. Here's a look at what the Cubs did.

Cubs acquire OF Justin Ruggiano from Marlins

On the final day of the winter meetings the Cubs shipped outfielder Brian Bogusevic to the Marlins for Justin Ruggiano.

The 31-year-old appeared in 128 games for the Marlins in 2013, hitting .222/.298/.396 with 18 HR and 50 RBI. He played all three outfield positions, including 84 games in center.

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said the Cubs newest addition hits left-handers well and fits into the Cubs outfield. He indicated Ruggiano wouldn't take at-bats away from Junior Lake and was acquired to fill a need for a veteran right-handed bat who can platoon.

Ruggiano hit .313/.374/.535 in 91 games in 2012 for Florida after being acquired in a trade with the Astros. The former Texas A & M product was drafted by the Dodgers in the 25th round in 2004, and traded to the Rays, along with former Cub catcher Dioner Navarro, in 2006. He made his MLB debut in Sept. 2007.

Ruggiano played in 45 big league games in 2008 for the Rays but spent the next two seasons at AAA hitting .287/.357/.453 in 2010. Ruggiano spent 2011 between the minors and Tampa, getting 105 at-bats in the big leagues (.248/.273/.400).

After the trade was announced, Ruggiano took to twitter "Let's do this! Excited about my new city, and most of all the fans! I've always loved this city and feel blessed to call it home!" He also thanked the Tampa fans and the organization for his time with them.

Bogusevic, 29, was signed as a minor league free agent before the start of 2013 and split the season between Iowa (79 games .317/.416/.506) and Chicago (47 games .273/.323/.462). He also spent time on the DL with a left hamstring strain.

Cubs add catcher in Rule 5 Draft, lose four players

The Cubs added another catcher to the organization but lost four players in the annual Rule 5 draft held at the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

In the minor league phase, the Cubs selected Charles Cutler, a 27-year-old who provides upper level minor league catching depth. Cutler was selected by the Pirates in the 2011 Rule 5 draft and spent the past two seasons playing at AA Altoona in the Eastern League.

Cutler has only caught 55 games the past two years but does swing a decent bat hitting .298/.397/.420 in 86 games last year. He's a career .303 hitter with a OBP of .389. Cutler was a 14th round pick of the Cardinals in 2008 out of the University of California. He hit .345 for Quad Cities in Midwest League in 2009, earning mid-season all-star honors and a promotion to High A Palm Beach. He also caught a career-high 72 games.

The Arizona Diamondbacks selected RHP Marcos Mateo in the major league phase. Mateo must stay on the D-backs 25-man roster for at least 90 days during 2014 or be offered back to the Cubs. Arizona selected Starling Peralta last year in the Rule 5, and returned him to the Cubs at the end of spring training. After missing the entire 2012 season with an arm injury, the 29-year-old started 2013 on the DL, and rehabbed in Mesa and AA Tennessee. Mateo appeared in 13 games for AAA Iowa tossing 16.1 innings with a 2.76 ERA and a .238 BAA. With his fastball back in the upper 90s, Mateo has been impressive in the DWL for Estrellas, recording nine saves and a 0.93 ERA in 19.1 innings. He's fanned 21 and has a WHIP of 0.98 and a BAA of .174.

In the minor league phase of the draft, the Cubs lost three players including outfielder Julio Borbon, appearing in 73 games for Chicago last season (.200/.282/.276). The Orioles selected the left-handed hitting Borbon, who spent four seasons with Texas before signing with Cubs in spring of 2013.

The Florida Marlins grabbed 1B Justin Bour and the Pirates took RHP A.J. Morris in the minor league phase. Despite missing two months with a broken wrist, Bour slugged 18 homers for AA Tennessee, helping the Smokies to a second half title. Bour hit .283/.360/.455 with 17 HR and 110 RBI in 2012 for Tennessee. The 25-year-old was the Cubs 25th round pick in 2009. Morris, acquired from Washington in 2011 in the Tom Gorzelanny trade, appeared in 31 games for AA Tennessee in 2013, with 53 strikeouts in 72 innings. He made 10 starts for the Smokies, finishing with a 4-2 record and 4.75 ERA.

Cubs sign Hottovy

The Cubs added another bullpen arm signing free-agent relief pitcher Tommy Hottovy to a one-year contract with a non-roster invite to spring training.

The left-hander spent 2013 in AA and AAA, throwing 43 innings with 42 punchouts and a 1.465 WHIP in the Blue Jays organization. Left-handers only hit .164 against Hottovy but righties were .364 in over 100 plate appearances. Hottovy's fastball tops out at 90 and he also throws a sinker and slider to along with a decent change-up.

A 2004 fourth-round pick out of Wichita State by Boston. Hottovy was a reliever in college but converted to a starter as a pro before Tommy John surgery in 2008 sent him back to the bullpen A lefty specialist with a sidearm delivery, Hottovy played eight seasons in Red Sox's organization, before making his MLB debut on June 3, 2011. He pitched in eight big league games with Red Sox and was claimed as a free agent by the Royals in 2012, appearing in nine games for Kansas City. In 17 MLB games, he's thrown 13.1 innings with a 1.72 WHIP with eight K and eight BB.


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