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Phillies sign Byrd for 2 years, $16 million

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The Philadelphia Phillies signed free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd to a two-year contract, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.

The deal is for $16 million, according to ESPN New York.

Byrd's signing is the first major free-agent deal of the offseason.

Byrd, 36, revitalized his career this past season with the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates. He batted a combined .291 with a career-high 24 homers and 88 RBIs during the regular season, then drove in five runs in six postseason games with Pittsburgh.

Last season was a remarkable turnaround from 2012, when Byrd started 3-for-43 (.070) for the Cubs before being traded to the Red Sox. He was released by the Red Sox June 12. He then was suspended for 50 games after a positive test for a banned substance.

A little over a year ago, Byrd was playing in Mexico, hoping it would lead to one more chance in the majors.

Byrd will be returning to the team that selected him in the 10th round of the 1999 draft. He broke in with the Phillies in 2002 and has spent time with six teams. He was an all-star with the Cubs in 2010.

Byrd is likely to play right field for the Phillies and bat in the middle of the order, probably behind Ryan Howard. The Phillies had been looking for a right-handed-hitting outfielder.
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