Ruggiano designated for assignment
UPDATE, 10:44: Ruggiano said he wasn't shocked to be taken off the roster, but he was disappointed it happened this late into the off-season as other teams pretty much have their rosters set.
If Ruggiano clears waivers, he would have the right to refuse an outright assignment to Triple-A Durham and become a free agent. But his chances to earn a roster spot elsewhere may be limited so he said he will wait to see what happens before making a decision. "I'm just gonna let this play out,'' he said.
Ruggiano said he asked the Rays in December for his release but they refused. That's not a surprise as the Rays typically prefer to keep as much depth and as many assets as they can. But given that they are actively looking for another right-handed hitter doesn't speak much for Ruggiano's prospects with them.
"I'm in a tough spot but I'm hopeful something will work out,'' Ruggiano said.
BREAKING: OF Justin Ruggiano was the odd man out - again - as the Rays designated him for assignment Tuesday to clear space on the 40-man roster for 1B Carlos Pena.
Ruggiano was similarly dropped from the 40-man last spring when the Rays signed Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon.
Ruggiano, 29, started last season at Triple-A Durham, then was called up to the Rays in late May and spent the rest of the season with them, though with three weeks on the DL. He hit .248 in 46 games, with 4 homers and 13 RBIs.