Outfielder Ryan Sweeney requested (and received) his release from the Boston Red Sox late this past week when it became apparent that he wasn’t going to make the team’s active roster in time for Opening Day. He didn’t seem interested in heading down to Triple-A with the organization, instead preferring to take his chances on the open market. Sweeney signed a new deal late Tuesday, joining the Chicago Cubs organization on a minor league deal. He’ll report to the club’s Triple-A affiliate within the next few days.
Chicago’s Triple-A team plays their home games in Des Moines, Iowa – roughly an hour and a half from Sweeney’s hometown.
Sweeney spent the 2012 season with Boston, having joined the organization the previous winter along with Andrew Bailey in a trade with the Oakland A’s. He’d hit .260/.303/.373 on the year, in 219 PA over 63 games. He’s never been much of a power hitter – just 14 HR in 1,900 career PA over seven seasons – and doesn’t carry a high on base percentage, but he’s capable of handling all three outfield positions which is often where most of his value lies.
Sweeney was brought in to provide some added depth in the outfield. With a few weeks of strong at bats in the minor leagues, he could put himself in position to be the first option that the team calls upon when there is a need.