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Phillies sign Byrd


The Phillies have signed outfielder Marlon Byrd to a two-year, $16 million contract, Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced tonight. The contract includes a club/vesting option for 2016 and award bonuses.

Byrd, 36, hit .291 with 35 doubles, 24 home runs and 88 RBI in 147 combined games for the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates this past season. He ranked fifth in the National League in slugging percentage (.511), tied for sixth in extra-base hits (64), tied for ninth in total bases (272) and finished tenth in RBI. Against left-handed pitching, Byrd hit .344, fifth-best in the NL, with a .583 slugging percentage and with runners in scoring position he batted .301. He made 129 starts in right field and two each in left field and center field and had 10 outfield assists, which ranked ninth in the NL.

"Marlon adds a significant upgrade both offensively and defensively to our outfield," said Amaro. "He has been particularly productive against left-handed pitching which was a serious challenge for us this past season. He is an experienced middle-of-the-order hitter who creates some balance to our lineup. With his talent and clubhouse presence, we believe Marlon will be a solid addition to our club as we address our needs and plan to contend in 2014 and beyond."

A 2010 All-Star, Byrd appeared in only 47 major league games in 2012 and batted .210 with one home run and nine RBI. Following that season, he played for Culiacan in the Mexican Pacific League and hit .318 with 16 home runs and 46 RBI in 57 games before signing a minor league contract with the Mets with an invitation to major league spring training.

Originally selected by the Phillies in the 10th round of the 1999 draft, Byrd is a career .280 hitter with 252 doubles, 106 home runs and 533 RBI in 1,250 games for the Phillies (2002-05), Washington Nationals (2005-06), Texas Rangers (2007-09), Chicago Cubs (2010-12), Boston Red Sox (2012), Mets (2013) and Pirates (2013). He was the Phillies' Opening Day center fielder in 2003 and 2004.

Byrd will wear #3.

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