LOS ANGELES -- In a move born from the Marlins' need for organizational outfield depth, the Astros traded Justin Ruggiano to Miami on Saturday in exchange for young catcher Jobduan Morales.
The 20-year-old Morales spent the 2011 season playing rookie ball in the New York-Penn League for Jamestown, where he hit .272 with four homers and 23 RBIs in 52 games. He will report to Houston's extended spring training before being assigned.
Morales was drafted by the Marlins in the ninth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.
Ruggiano, 30, was hitting .325 this season with five homers and 29 RBIs in 39 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City. In 200 career big league at-bats, all coming with Tampa Bay, Ruggiano hit .226 with six homers.
Ruggiano spent the entire spring with the big league club before he was assigned to Triple-A following Spring Training.
AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.