In order to make room for Manny and Damon, we knew two players had to get removed from the 40-man roster. It took a long time for the final show to drop, but now it finally has: Marc Topkin from the St. Pete Times is reporting that both Justin Ruggiano and Leslie Anderson have been designated for assignment (DFA).
What this essentially means is that both players have been removed from the Rays' 40-man roster and placed on waivers. Any other team could pick them up now, free of charge, but if no team claims them after set period of time, they could be designated to the Rays' minor leagues. Only time will tell if either of these two is claimed by another team, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Ruggiano claimed. While he's never had an extended chance to contribute at the big league level with the Rays, Ruggs is a corner outfielder that's entering his prime (28 years old currently) and has shown some offensive upside in Durham the past few seasons (.363 wOBA last season). He's not going to light the world on fire, but he seems good enough for some team to justify giving him a roster spot and a chance to succeed.
In the end, this isn't a large loss for the Rays. Both players are dispensable in the Rays' current outfield / first base logjam, and both players were well down the Rays' depth chart - Ruggiano stuck behind Sam Fuld, and Anderson stuck behind Casey Kotchman. It's possible that Leslie Anderson slips through the waivers, but even then I wouldn't be too excited about him: the reports out of the Arizona Fall League about him suggested his bat speed was slow and his upside limited.
A change of scenery might be best for Ruggiano, so here's hoping that some other team picks him up and can provide him with some playing time. I always hate to see player languish in the minors - maybe this will finally be his chance.
For more on the move, see R.J. Anderon's take over at The Process Report.