ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 05: Outfielder Justin Ruggiano #16 of the Tampa Bay Rays catches a fly ball against the Texas Rangers during the game at Tropicana Field on September 5, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
The Houston Astros have announced that they signed outfielder Justin Ruggiano earlier today. Ruggiano has spent his entire career in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, and he became a free agent last week after the Rays designated him for assignment.
The contract for Ruggiano in Houston is a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Ruggiano played the entire outfield for the Rays in 46 games last season, He also played with the big club in 2007 and 2008, and was a part of that 2008 team who went to the World Series.
He was initially drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a 25th round pick. He is not yet arbitration eligible. He is now 29 years old, and was not in the majors at all when he was 27 and 28. He has a shot at seeing some time with the Astros in 2012, but will spend the majority in Triple A Oklahoma City.