The New York Mets today announced that the club has signed outfielder Justin Ruggiano to a major league contract. Ruggiano will be in uniform tonight, wear #1 and is active for tonight's game versus the Rockies. To make room on the active roster, the Mets have placed infielder Jose Reyes on the 15-Day Disabled List with a left oblique strain, retroactive to July 27. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Mets have transferred righthanded pitcher Matt Harvey to the 60-Day Disabled List.
Ruggiano, 34, was signed by the Texas Rangers this past offseason and made the Rangers Opening Day roster. The outfielder played in one game for Texas, going 1-4 with a double and an RBI on April 6, before being designated for assignment on April 8 and outrighted to Round Rock (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League. In 44 games for the Express, Ruggiano batted .226 (37-164) with 10 doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 23 RBI. Ruggiano was released by Texas on July 28. While with the Express, Ruggiano had to separate stints on the 7-Day Disabled List (May 7-29 and June 15-30) with a groin strain.
Last season, Ruggiano saw action in 57 major league games between Seattle (36 games) and Los Angeles-NL (21 games). He opened the year with the Mariners, making the Mariners Opening Day roster and playing in 36 games. He batted .214 (15-70) with four doubles and two home runs before being optioned to Tacoma (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League.
Ruggiano was later traded to the Dodgers on August 31, 2015 after spending 49 games with Tacoma (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League. He played the final 21 games of the regular season with the Dodgers following the trade. In those 21 games, Ruggiano hit .291 (16-55) with four doubles, four home runs, 12 RBI, 12 runs scored and a .350 OBP. In last year's postseason, Ruggiano went 0-4 in three games played during the NLDS versus the Mets.
For his career, Ruggiano owns a .856 OPS against lefthanded pitching. Entering this season his OPS versus lefties was 10th among all active outfielders (minimum 500 plate appearances). He's batted .273 (132-484) versus lefthanded pitching in his career and hit .301 (25-83) with five home runs and 11 RBI versus lefties during his time in the majors in 2015.
Ruggiano was originally drafted in the 25th round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft by Los Angeles-NL and made his major league debut with Tampa Bay in 2007.
In eight combined major league seasons with Chicago-NL, Los Angeles-NL, Miami, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Texas, Ruggiano has batted .256 (323-1260) with 71 doubles, four triples, 49 home runs, 153 RBI and a .321 on-base percentage in 456 career games. In his career, he's started 153 games in centerfield, 88 in leftfield and 60 in rightfield.