Almost a month after acquiring outfield Ryan Sweeney in a trade, the Boston Red Sox inked the former Oakland Athletic to a one-year, $1.75-million deal Saturday. Sweeney, who was brought to Boston in the trade for closer Andrew Bailey on Dec. 28, is expected to compete for the starting right-field position.
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If the Red Sox did not agree to terms with Sweeney, he could have fined for arbitration. Last season, Sweeney made $1.4 million with the Athletics.
"Sweeney, as an every day player, is not the answer in right field for most teams," wrote Marc Normandin of the SB Nation Red Sox blog Over The Monster on Dec. 29. "The left-handed outfielder has one major weakness, and it's his inability to hit his fellow southpaws. This makes him a better fit as a fourth outfielder on a good team, but with the way the Red Sox' roster is built, Sweeney can actually account for somewhere around 75 percent of the playing time at the position, simply by using him against right-handed pitchers. Righties tend to throw roughly three-quarters of all innings, and Sweeney can hit righties."
In six seasons, Sweeney has a .283 batting average after hitting .265 with one homer and 25 RBIs in 264 at-bats last season.