FORT MYERS, Fla. – Meeting with the media after Thursday night’s 6-1 win over the Twins, manager John Farrell said he had nothing to announce at that time on the fate of Ryan Sweeney. Sweeney, a non-roster invitee, had an opt-out clause allowing him to leave the team if he were not added to the major league roster by midnight.
A few minutes later, Farrell waved across the clubhouse to Sweeney, signaling the outfielder to the manager’s office.
After a few minutes, Sweeney emerged.
“They didn’t purchase my contract,” Sweeney said. “So, basically, I’m the odd man out.”
Which probably means that Jackie Bradley Jr. is in . . . though the rookie outfielder said he's yet to be told
“I would think I’d be the first to know,” he said. “I want to know before y’all. I’m still waiting to hear. I haven’t heard anything yet.”
When asked why he'd been let go, Sweeney shrugged.
“Defensive versatility, I guess,” he said, the uncertainty obvious in the sound of his voice. “I don’t know. I asked them if they wanted me to play first base when I came to camp. They said no. I play all three outfield positions. So I don’t really know what it came down to. There’s got to be a reason for everything.”
Asked if he was disappointed, Sweeney replied:
“Yeah, for sure, especially with this coaching staff and these group of guys. I wanted to be a part of it. So, I don’t know. Now, we’ll just see what happens.”
It was difficult, Sweeney said, to get to the end of spring training and get the news.
“Yeah, for sure,” he said. “You spend all spring training and then possibly be playing with another team. So, you never know. It’s definitely going to be a weird situation. And the first time I’ve ever gone through it.”
Sweeney originally joined the Red Sox in December 2011, as part of the trade that also brought right-hander Andrew Bailey to Boston and sent outfielder Josh Reddick to Oakland. He appeared in 63 games last season, batting .260, with a .303 on-base percentage, and .373 slugging percentage. He season ended on July 30 when he broke a bone in his left pinky punching a door.
After being granted free agency in November, he came back to he Sox on a minor-league contract in January.
In an oddity, the 6-feet-4, 225-pound Sweeney has hit just 14 home runs in 1,719 major league at-bats and has not hit a home run since July 27, 2011, against the Rays’ James Shields.
Sweeney said he would talk to his agent before making any decisions.
- Closer Joel Hanrahan followed Clay Buchholz to the mound. Since getting roughed up by the Twins on March 7, when he gave up four runs in one-third of an inning, Hanrahan has pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings in five appearances.
- In nine innings pitched over nine games this spring, right-hander Koji Uehara has not given up a run, with four hits, 11 strikeouts, and two walks.
- Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a hustle double to right field, a good sign that the ankle he rolled and heel he jammed getting back to first base on a pick-off attempt Sunday were feeling better. This was the first game activity for him since Sunday. He went 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored, a walk, and a strikeout.
- Shane Victorino, who had been out since Monday after jamming his wrist catching a fly ball against the wall on Sunday, went 2-for-3 with a run scored. He is hitting .179 this spring, going 7-for-39.
- Ryan Dempster is scheduled to start Friday against the Twins, followed by Junichi Tazawa, and Clayton Mortensen.