PITTSBURGH -- The Cubs signed outfielder Ryan Sweeney, who was released by the Red Sox, and infielder Donnie Murphy, who was let go by the Brewers, to Minor League deals, and both were to report to Triple-A Iowa.
It was good news for Sweeney, who lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Sweeney, 28, batted .217 in 21 games this spring with the Red Sox, and was released on Sunday.
A left-handed hitter, he's played for the White Sox, Athletics and Red Sox, and has a career .280 average over seven seasons.
Sweeney announced his signing on his Twitter account:
So pumped to get this opportunity with the cubs. I know I have made a lot of Midwest people happy. Looking forward to a great 2013 season!- Ryan Sweeney (@RyanSweeney12) April 2, 2013
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said the organization lacks left-handed hitters.
"He's always been a quality hitter," Sveum said of Sweeney. "He doesn't hit a lot of home runs or anything like that, but he's always been an on-base guy, doesn't strike out much."
Murphy batted .239 in 24 games this spring with Milwaukee, and has a career .205 average in 244 games with the Marlins.
"He's that hard-nosed utility-type player who will catch the ball wherever he plays," Sveum said. "He hasn't had a whole lot of at-bats in the big leagues. He did swing the bat OK in the Minor Leagues. He kind of strikes out a little too much for that role. He's a guy you can rely on defensively. He's a little gamer-type guy."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.