The Chicago Cubs have re-signed outfielder Ryan Sweeney to a two-year, $3.5 million contract, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The deal also includes a $2.5 million club option for 2016 or a buyout worth $500K.
Sweeney, 28, signed with the Cubs in early April after being non-tendered by the Red Sox last winter. Although he appeared in only 70 games due to a fractured rib, he was still a solid contributor as the team's fourth outfielder throughout the season. Sweeney saw time at all three outfield positions for the North Siders, posting a .266 average with 6 HR and 19 RBI in 192 at-bats on the year.
In eight major league seasons with the White Sox (2006-2007), Athletics (2008-2011), Red Sox (2012) and Cubs (2013), Sweeney is a lifetime.278 hitter with 20 HR and 19 RBI. After falling out of favor in the Athletics' organization and being traded to the Red Sox along with Andrew Bailey before the 2012 season, he struggled in 60 games with the Red Sox and ended his season by punching a clubhouse door after a frustrating loss. The team then non-tendered him last winter and brought him back on a minor league deal during spring training, but he opted out of his contract once he lost his roster spot to rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. The Cubs signed him three days later, and he immediately became a fixture on the team's 25-man roster.
With Sweeney locked up, the Cubs have four remaining free agents. Catcher Dioner Navarro and pitchers Kevin Gregg, Matt Guerrier and Scott Baker are all set to test the open market this offseason.