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January 26, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Red Sox re-sign Ryan Sweeney to minor league deal

According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, the Red Sox have brought back outfielder Ryan Sweeney on a minor league deal. Sweeney returns to the Red Sox organization after a very difficult 2012 that culminated on July 30 when he broke his hand punching a door in frustration, eventually requiring season-ending surgery. He had missed time earlier in the year with a concussion, but even when healthy he only managed a .260/.303/.373 line which lead to him being non-tendered by the team last December.

Sweeney was originally acquired by Boston in a deal last off-season that sent Josh Reddick, Miles Head, and Raul Alcantara to Oakland in exchange for Sweeney and Andrew Bailey. The deal did not go as GM Ben Cherington had planned when Bailey and Sweeney missed significant parts of the season with injuries while Reddick enjoyed a breakout year with Oakland.

The addition of Sweeney was likely related to the news that Ryan Kalish will likely undergo another shoulder surgery which would result in him missing several months. The left-handed Sweeney hits far better against right-handers, with a career line of .293/.347/.402, meaning he would be a good compliment to right-handed hitting Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino, who is a switch hitter but hits far better from the right side.

Bradford also reports that Sweeney has an opt-out clause where he could elect to become a free-agent if he is not added to the major league roster by the end of spring training. Sweeney will likely end up battling Daniel Nava for the outfield bench spot, and Sweeney's ability to play all three outfield spots may give him a leg up.

Will Woodward is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.

Photo credit: Ryan Sweeney by Kelly O'Connor