Cubs sign OF Ryan Sweeney to deal


(Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

The Cubs officially came to terms with outfielder Ryan Sweeney on a minor league deal Wednesday morning. The 28-year-old spent seven seasons in the majors after being drafted by the White Sox in 2003. A career .280 hitter, Sweeney has 102 doubles in 1,900 plate appearances and hit .286 or better in three consecutive seasons (2008-10).

The big league veteran played 33 games with the White Sox in 2006-07 before being dealt to Oakland in January 2008. He spent four productive seasons with the Athletics before being traded to Boston prior to the 2012 season. Sweeney struggled to find playing time with the Red Sox and was released March 30 after hitting just .217 on the spring.

Sweeney’s best year came in 2009, when he hit .293/.348/.407 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with six home runs and 53 RBI in 134 games with the A’s. That season, he posted a 2.9 WAR, the best mark of his career.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native will spend at least the beginning of the season back home, as he’ll be playing for Triple-A Iowa in nearby Des Moines. He made the announcement yesterday on his Twitter account.

“So pumped to get this opportunity with the Cubs,” he tweeted. “I know I have made a lot of Midwest people happy. Looking forward to a great 2013 season!”

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