By Ben Nicholson-Smith [January 30, 2012 at 3:59pm CST] Outfielder Justin Ruggiano will decline his outright assignment and become a free agent, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports on Twitter. The Rays had designated him for assignment last week. "It was a tough decision but in the end I had to do what was best for my career," Ruggiano said, according to Topkin. Ruggiano appeared in 46 games for the Rays last year, playing all three outfield positions. The 29-year-old posted a .248/.273/.400 line in 111 plate appearances. Ruggiano, who also played for the Rays in 2007-08, is not yet arbitration eligible.