From the Wire … Cubs Re-Sign OF Ryan Sweeney to Two-Year Deal

According to multiple reports, the Cubs re-signed outfielder Ryan Sweeney on Tuesday to a two-year contract worth $3.5 million that includes a club option for 2016. Sweeney will make $1.5 million in 2014 and 2015. The third year is club option worth $2.5 million that includes a $500,000 buyout.

Ryan Sweeney has confirmed the reports and said he is happy to be back with the Cubs.

Ryan Sweeney hit .266/.324/.448 in 70 games for the Cubs in 2013. Sweeney hit 13 doubles, two triples, tied a career high in home runs with six and finished up with a .772 OPS. Sweeney missed more than two months due to a broken rib.

Sweeney told the Tribune that Theo Epstein approached him about getting a deal done quickly to stay with the Cubs. Sweeney indicated the deal took a couple of weeks to hammer out and he is glad he does not have to go through being a free agent this winter. Sweeney also confirmed the deal includes a club option for 2016.

Sweeney can play all three outfield positions and gives the Cubs flexibility as either a starter or a fourth outfielder. Plus he is a lefty that can hit southpaws (.313/.365/.458/.824).

Ryan Sweeney’s Page on Baseball-Reference

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  • cubtex

    Who needs Choo!!!!! We got Sweeney!

    • Tony_Hall

      If they want to sign Choo they still can. Sweeney could platoon with Lake in LF. Choo could play his more natural RF, with Sweeney in CF and Schierholtz and Lake in LF.

      You are going to have a rough off-season if you over react to every move, as if it is the last move of until rosters are set for Opening Day, 174 days from now.

      • J Daniel

        Great response! I think it is a good signing … as a 4th outfielder … or bring back DDJ. Just kidding with DDJ and I do like the signing

    • Eugene Debs

      I hope the Cubs do go after Choo; he’s a solid player. Neither the money nor the commitment to at-bats with the Sweeney deal should hold the Cubs back from any moves. I am a proponent of polishing up the MLB product more for the 2014 season, so we need some quality players. If you sign good ones, they will have either on the field value or trade value for you in the future.

      • cubtex

        I guess my concern is that Theo promised Sweeney a starting spot if he signed early. He did that with Feldman…..so if you have Schierholtz penciled in RF with Bogusevic and Lake and now Sweeney….,I would be surprised to see a major move done in the outfield.

        • Tony_Hall

          I think it is entirely possible he told him he would start against RH’s. Why do you think Bogusevic is going start? As it stands right now I see Lake, Sweeney, Schierholtz. But I could see another move, especially a RH bat added.

  • Tony_Hall

    Good value signing. He should start in CF until Almora is ready.

    • cubtex

      hahaha

    • cubtex

      The pieces are almost in place. We have Sweeney holding down CF for at least 2 years until Almora is ready. Barney holding down 2B until Alcantara is ready. Valbuena holding down 3rd until Baez or Olt is ready. Bogusevic holding down an outfield spot until Soler or Bryant is ready. Theo’s work is done.. The present is taken care of. Now all we have to do is wait in anticipation for all the prospects to come up and produce at the same time. Theo is a genius!

      • TheWrongGuy

        I like Sweeney. He is an under valued player IMO. Yes he’s unspectacular. Nothing super stellar, no flashy plays, no spectacular stats. He is consistently mediocre. The contract is nice given his injury history and mediocrity. He is NOT a middle of the order bat that we ALL want and the CUBS need. But he’s sufficient enough till a better player comes along.

        • cubtex

          Nothing against Sweeney. It is against the talent that Theo is putting out here until the prospects are ready. It is ridiculous to not even try in year 3 of the rebuild!

          • TheWrongGuy

            Who would you put in Sweeney’s place then?

          • cubtex

            I am not trying to play GM and say this player or this player. But after a 101 loss season and a 95 loss year….I would do something other than resign the same players that we had last year. I would make a major deal. Trade a Samardzija(for the right offer). Trade a Rizzo.

            Everyone should realize that not all of these prospects are going to all make it to the level of everyone’s expectations. To hold down an outfield spot with this group of outfielders for 2 or 3 years hoping that Almora and Soler are ready is an insult to the fan base.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I actually like the signing. If you want to lose 110 games,
            who better to have on your roster? If you want to draft higher,
            you have to lose more than Houston. And the Marlins. And until
            we sign Jim Riggleman–or Dusty–again, we need players like Sweeney to help us.

          • cubtex

            I am just so frustrated with 3 years now of this. If you think they struggled to score runs this year…..you ain’t seen nothing yet!

          • TheWrongGuy

            I understand about not playing GM. I agree as we both have been saying since the trade deadline about trading “Shark”. This team needs more future hope in the rotation. I really do agree with this idea. I do not believe Shark will be able to maintain a full season dominating line-ups like he did 1st half 2012. We have only seen glimpses of that Shark since then. I feel he is a classic change of scenery candidate.

          • cubtex

            Here are my frustrations. So….as Tony said that Sweeney could hold down CF until Almora is ready…but what if Almora gets hurt again…..what if he struggles in AA? what if he is on the Josh Vitters path? You see what I mean? You can’t let a prospect handcuff you on trying to improve the major league team. Would any other major market team do this?

          • TheWrongGuy

            Yes I do agree. I do understand. Yet this front office has their own requirements for who they will sign and who they won’t. It has been very obvious. They have been signing guys who are consistent performers. They know they have talent in the minors(no names here just as said talent). I don’t want to name names of this player to be here or there but Theo has said he want mass talent in the minors not just big talent at pitcher or catcher or first base ect… I don’t like to name a talent for a position until he reaches AA. That is when you know and can tell if he will excel at the MLB level.

          • Tony_Hall

            Matt Szczur, Zeke Devoss, Trey Martin,

            You go to the next prospect or you use FA to fill a void.

          • Tom U

            Patience cubtex, my profile of the centerfielders will be posted soon. There’s more the Almora.

          • gary3411

            No other major market teams have the BALLS. Plus, financially, we are not anywhere near the upper echelon in terms of revenue, at least at the moment, which we all know.

          • Ripsnorter1

            You asked, “Would any other major market team do this?”

            Let’s see….
            Not the Yanks. They insist on winning.
            Not the Dodgers. They will buy a whole herd of players if they have to.

          • Tony_Hall

            Big Market Teams (Top 10 US Cities)

            New York Yankees – 80’s
            New York Mets – forever
            Los Angeles Dodgers this core came from somewhere
            Los Angeles Angels – before Scioscia
            Chicago White Sox – a few times
            Chicago Cubs – FINALLY
            Houston – Ummmm Yeah.
            Philadelphia – Soon
            Phoenix – yes
            San Antonio – 7th largest city and no MLB
            San Diego – YES
            Dallas – Texas Rangers – yes
            San Jose – NO MLB….yet

            So when you look at the largest markets plenty of these teams have done a rebuild and suffered through losing seasons. Many probably wish they took it all the way.

          • GaryLeeT

            I’ll admit I didn’t even look, but I have to ask, how many had 4 consecutive 90+ loss seasons in the last 30 years?

          • Tony_Hall

            No clue and don’t care what other teams have done. Theo has had 2 years and has rebuilt the foundation of this franchise in 2 short years.

          • GaryLeeT

            Huh? You go through the trouble of making a list of major market teams, and what they have done, but tell me you don’t care what they have done? Makes sense to me.

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t care if any other teams have lost 90 wins, 4 years in a row enough to go through and look it up. What does it matter if other teams have or have not. My guess is it has happened.

            It was to give a quick overview of the Top US Markets and that almost every one of them have had a team losing and either voluntarily or involuntarily do a rebuild.

          • GaryLeeT

            The fans, and the owners of the teams in a market size comparable to the Cubs would not tolerate 4 years of massive losses. Losing seasons yes, but right now the Cubs are in a league of their own. So. if you can’t provide a true parallel then your point that “plenty of these teams have done a rebuild and suffered through losing seasons” does not apply to the Cubs recent past and future.

          • cubtex

            short? lol

          • Tony_Hall

            In the grand scheme yes. Watching every game thinking they are going to the playoffs this year, would make it extremely long 2 seasons.

          • cubtex

            then next year will be another short year for you. lol

          • Tony_Hall

            Yet neither team seems to want to want to pay up for Robinson Cano!

          • cubtex

            what does that have to do with fielding a team full of major leaguers?

          • GaryLeeT

            Of course we all share in the frustration of having to stomach the recent past, and the projected 90+ losses for next season, but the blame needs to be placed where it belongs. On the Ricketts family, and the ridiculous budget for player payroll Theo has been handed.

          • Tony_Hall

            You call it blame, I say give the man credit for wanting to take the heat, while rebuilding the sorry shape that this franchise was in when he paid almost a billion dollars to buy it.

          • GaryLeeT

            What heat is he taking? If they could not afford it, then they should have taken a pass, and left it to someone else who could. .

          • Tony_Hall

            From guys like you saying to blame them and from reporters like GW.

            IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IF THEY CAN OR CAN NOT AFFORD IT! For hopefully the last time, the Tribune dictated the terms of the deal and required they stay on with a small percentage of ownership and that new owner have THE AMOUNT OF DEBT THEY HAVE, to save the Tribune millions upon millions in TAXES.

            I saw over the last week that it is around 4 more years before they can pay off the debt and not have to have the $25-$30M in debt service each year.

          • cubtex

            Ricketts wishes all fans were guys like you :) Sure…..take your time Theo and Tom. Build it up the “right” way. I don’t care about winning UNTIL we can win a WS. Take another 2,3,4,5 years.

          • GaryLeeT

            Geez, you and your straw men. And done with chastising capital letters too? Good grief.
            Anyway, If the debt, and it’s structure is restricting their ability to increase payroll, that means they CAN’T AFFORD TO DO IT. I wish that someone, or some group with deeper pockets would have bought the team. There is no law that says a sports franchise can’t spend beyond it’s profit for a short period of time, like the Dodgers did. How do you always manage to complicate the simplest of notions?

          • Tony_Hall

            Wasn’t meant to chastise but to highlight. Sorry if it offended you, I won’t do it anymore.

            The extent in which they would have to spend beyond the revenue to buy up players would just not be smart business. With the state this team was in, adding the Pujols’s of this world would have only set the team farther back by having more dead payroll locked up for many years again.

            Why would we want an old team full of bad contracts again?

            Anybody who bought the Cubs was going to be handcuffed by the Tribune restrictions. Do you think the Dodgers would have spent so much money if they didn’t have that huge new TV contract when they took over. The Tribune made sure they siphoned off as much money as possible from this team, even in these years after they are no longer the owner.

          • GaryLeeT

            Always have to play the Pujols extreme card to prop up your position? You know darn well nobody wanted that. Beltran, Bourne, A. Sanchez, and Darvish, yes.

          • Tony_Hall

            Let’s face it, if we had the money everyone would have wanted that. And to say no on wanted that is just plain lying.

            Bourne would have been another great example of spending money on a 4 year contract that was not very good even in year 1.

            Beltran was not discussed all that much, as most thought he was nearing the end…..we could try to get him now.

            Sanchez, memory serves me that we tried to overpay for him and he got the Tigers to overpay the overpay. Good example, we went all out and tried to get him.

            Darvish, we bid there as well, from all reports had the 2nd highest bid.

            So of these names, that are not as extreme as Pujols, we tried for 2, really glad we didn’t get one and all of us are surprised the other one had another 2 good years.

            You know as well as I do that if Theo would have came in and had unlimited money and spent like a drunked sailor, we would be loaded with bad contracts and still wouldn’t have a World Series win and be farther than ever again, as we wouldn’t have the farm system we have now.

          • Tony_Hall

            Who says they are not working on those deals, but this is not the time of year when they happen. It is the time of year where resign a player like Sweeney.

          • Tony_Hall

            Sweeney can start or be a part of a L/R platoon or be a very good 4th OF.

      • paulcatanese

        One of the reasons I have not been posting.
        Nothing equals nothing. 2018 at the earliest.

  • coachdon

    I have nothing against Sweeney, in fact I think having him as a part of the outfield at the start of next year is probably a decent idea. However, by signing him now, do you not lose another 40 man spot that you could use on a rule 5 guy? Wouldn’t it have been better to wait awhile?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Sweeney will keep his spot on the 40-man roster throughout the winter with this contract

    • Ripsnorter1

      Do you mean, agree to a deal with him, but not announce it
      so that we can protect a roster spot for someone else?

      That sounds like sound roster management. But of course,
      Jed doesn’t do that.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        And the players’ association might have a little problem with that.

        • Ripsnorter1

          We’ve done it in the past….I’m trying to remember…
          but we agreed to a deal and waited to announce it.

          Whatever. : )

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            For a couple of weeks, yes, but not for an entire off-season.

    • Tony_Hall

      The only player we need to add for sure is Alcantara. Rosscup was already added and Ha is the next best player and I think they will take a chance on losing him, along with the next level of players.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Cubs just re-signed David DeJesus–at a much lower cost.
    I will say that this is a better deal than the DeJesus deal, if only
    for the lower cost contract.

  • cubtex

    I think this signing just about locked up Girardi to come to the Cubs. I mean….he knows Theo will give him the absolute best players to work with. Look at our outfield. Any manager would salivate to have a choice between putting Lake,Bogusevic,Schierholtz and Sweeney out there.

    • SuzyS

      I don’t have a problem with Sweeney at all. It signals that the plan hasn’t changed and the contract is very tradeable.
      It still allows the Cubs maximum flexibility without trading anyone at this point. We always
      talk about the big four on this site (Solar/Almora/Baez,Bryant). But what’s to say Sweeney and his large contract aren’t traded in July to make room for a hot Szczur or Ha or even a Rohan?

      Would I like a slam dunk big signing??? Yes.
      But we were already told not to expect it this off season….can it still happen…yes…but don’t expect it..
      This is a small, smart signing in a long off season. Let it go at that.

    • RynoTiger

      actually look at the Yankees outfield that Girardi worked with this past year. Soriano was their best. Expand Sweeney’s numbers out over a full year with the Cubs and he’s similar to what Girardi already had with the Yankees. So it’s not going to deter him from choosing the Cubs if he does.

  • Eugene Debs

    Definitely a team friendly contract and Sweeney seemed to play good ball for the Cubs. I hope he gets a lot of at bats but does not claim a “starter role.” As a 4th OF, this is good.

    • Tony_Hall

      I agree. I don’t see him getting 600+ AB’s as a starter, but it is nice knowing he could start for periods of time. I see him as a player who could be with the Cubs for a long time as a 3/4 OF and hopefully one day he is our 5th OF because we have 4 better OF’s than him.

  • paulcatanese

    Sorry to hear about Andy Pafko. Saw him play, many times. Condolences to his family.

  • Scott

    I’m wondering if we should wait to judge this offseason as a complete failure until the Division Series games are at least complete?

    • Tony_Hall

      Great idea or maybe even wait until players can sign up for free agency.

      • Scott

        I just find it amusing that we have already lost 90+ games next year when no one even knows what rosters will look like come April.
        I wonder if Rickets and Theo got together, upped the payroll to 500 million, traded for players like Trout, Harper, Cabrera, etc by sending out Casey Coleman, Dave Sappelt JC Boscan, etc. (keeping every highly regarded prospect), went 160-2, swept through the playoffs and won the World Series if certain people on this site would still complain because our spring training record wasn’t very good and we blew two saves which cost us ALL our loses on the year….

        • cubtex

          cmon dude. don’t under value Casey Coleman, Sappelt and Boscan like that! You can get more for them than those players you mentioined. Try and be a little more realistic!

        • Tony_Hall

          We have a few on here who will be complaining all the way to the last out when the Cubs win the World Series, and then will start complaining about the next year while they are still jumping up and down.

  • jtrain23

    I really like this move. Before he got hurt, Sweeney was really looking nice. He tapered off after returning, but he is a good athlete and a solid platoon/4th outfielder type. Plus, you cannot beat the price.

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