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OF Justin Ruggiano agrees to $1.65M deal with Rangers



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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Free-agent outfielder Justin Ruggiano has agreed to a $1.65 million, one-year contract with Texas, giving the Rangers a-needed right-handed bat.

Ruggiano split last season between Seattle and the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting .248 with six home runs and 15 RBIs in 57 games. Since the start of 2012, he has hit .290 against left-handed pitchers.

Ruggiano, who lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and played at Texas A&M, has played in 455 major league games over seven seasons with Tampa Bay, Miami, the Chicago Bus, Seattle, and the Dodgers. He has played in all three outfield spots.

Only $500,000 of his salary is guaranteed under Thursday's deal. He can earn an additional $1.25 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances: $100,000 each for 250 and 300; $150,000 apiece for 350 and 400; $250,000 for 450; and $500,000 for 500.

Texas also hired former major leaguer Howard Johnson as manager for its Class A High Desert affiliate.

NOTES: RHP Tony Barnette's $3.5 million, two-year deal agreed to this week, which includes salaries of $1.5 million next year and $1.75 million in 2017, includes a $4 million team option for 2018 with a $250,000 buyout. The option price could escalate to $8 million based on his performance the next two seasons: $500,000 each for 110 and 120 games pitched, 35 games finished and each additional five through 60. He can earn $550,000 in performance bonuses in each of the next two seasons for games finished: $50,000 each for 10, 15 and 20; and $100,000 apiece for 25, 30, 35 and 40. If the 2018 option is exercised, he can earn $200,000 that year on games finished bonuses, $50,000 each for 20, 25, 30 and 35.

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The Associated Press

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