Trade doesn't clear up Sox' outfield situation

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Trade doesn't clear up Sox' outfield situation

BOSTON -- While the trade for closer Andrew Bailey helped shore up the Red Sox bullpen, it did little to help clear up the teams outfield mix . . even with the acquisition of Ryan Sweeney in the deal.

Sweeney, like Reddick, is a left-handed hitter who is seen by many as a fourth, or even fifth, outfielder rather than a starter.

He appeared in 108 games overall in 2011 and played all three outfield positions -- 41 games in left, 34 in center and 23 in right. In 264 at-bats, he hit .265 with 1 home run, 25 RBI, a .346 OBP, and .341 slugging percentage.

Sweeney, who turns 27 in February, was a second-round pick by the White Sox out of Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 2003. He made his big-league debut Sept. 1, 2006. He was traded by Chicago to Oakland in January 2008 with Fautino De Los Santos and Gio Gonzalez for Nick Swisher. In 2009, he saw the most playing time of his six-season career, appearing in 134 games (121 starts), with 484 at-bats, playing all three outfield positions, batting .293, with a career-high 6 home runs, 53 RBI, and .755 OPS.

With Carl Crawford in left and Jacoby Ellsbury in center, Sweeney will, as of now, vie for the right-field job with Darnell McDonald, the only right-handed hitting outfielder on the Sox 40-man roster with major league experience. Right-handed hitting Mike Aviles, primarily an infielder who was sent to Puerto Rico this offseason to become more familiar with the outfield, will also be in the Sox outfield mix. (Che-Hsuan Lin, added to the 40-man in November, is also a right-handed batter but was promoted to Triple-A last season.)

Left-handed-hitting Ryan Kalish, whohad neck surgery in September, is expected to be ready for workouts in spring training, but not likely for major league consideration to start the season.

Sweeney has two more seasons under club control, and is eligible for arbitration for the second time.

Sandoval 'starting from scratch' after career had 'fallen into an abyss'

Sandoval 'starting from scratch' after career had 'fallen into an abyss'

The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal. 

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.

"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.

"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."

Tanguay: Could Red Sox ownership be going for it now, then sell the team?

Tanguay: Could Red Sox ownership be going for it now, then sell the team?

Could John Henry sell ownership of the Boston Red Sox anytime soon, or does he want to keep winning?  Shaughnessy, Merloni, and Tanguay debate.