Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
The Red Sox will bring back outfielder Ryan Sweeney on a minor league deal, giving him a chance to compete for the team's fifth outfielder spot.
The 27 year old outfielder was non-tender by Boston this off-season after coming to the Red Sox in the trade that sent Josh Reddick and prospects to Oakland for closer Andrew Bailey prior to the 2012 season.
Sweeney once again struggled to stay healthy last season, playing in just 63 games for the injury plagued Red Sox. He also struggled at the plate, hitting .260/.303/.373 in 219 plate appearance last year. His 5.5% walk rate was well below his career average 7.9% and he posted his highest ever strikeout rate as well (19.6%).
Always a light hitter, Sweeney failed to hit a single home run in 2012. His glove work is his most redeeming quality at this point. Last season he played right field and center for Boston and he is still a plus defender at both by the Ultimate Zone Rating and Total Zone Location systems.
Sweeney can opt out of the deal if he is not added to the 40 man roster by the end of spring training. With outfielder Ryan Kalish in need of neck surgery, Sweeney as a good shot at earning one of the final rosters spots for the Red Sox.