MLB Notes: Mets sign Marlon Byrd to minor-league deal

MLB Notes: Mets sign Marlon Byrd to minor-league deal
February 2, 2013, 12:30 pm
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The Phillies were bargain shoppers this offseason, spending less than 19 other teams (see story).

Here is a look at the notable news around the league:

Mets bring in Byrd
NEW YORK -- The New York Mets have agreed to a minor league contract with outfielder Marlon Byrd, who served a 50-game suspension last season after testing positive in June for a performance enhancing drug while he was a free agent.

An NL All-Star in 2010, Byrd was traded from the Chicago Cubs to Boston Red Sox on April 21. Boston released him on June 12. Two weeks later, MLB announced he tested positive for Tamoxifen, which can reduce side effects of steroid use and increase testosterone.

Byrd hit .210 in 47 games for Boston and Chicago last season, and has hit .278 in 11 big league seasons with 82 homers and 445 RBIs.

The 35-year-old gives the Mets another potential option in the outfield, an area in which they are considered to be very weak. This offseason they cut ties with Jason Bay and lost center fielder Andres Torres, who signed with San Francisco, and Scott Hairston, who appears headed to the Cubs.

Reds sign Parra, Olivo
CINCINNATI -- Lefthander Manny Parra and the Cincinnati Reds have agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract.

In addition, the Reds agreed Friday to a minor league deal with catcher Miguel Olivo.

The 30-year-old Parra had spent all five of his big league seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. After missing 2011 with back and elbow injuries, he went 3-10 with a 5.06 ERA last year in 16 starts and 26 relief appearances.

He could earn an additional $400,000 in performance bonuses based on games pitched in relief: $50,000 each for 45 and 50, and $100,000 apiece for 55, 60 and 65.

To clear a roster spot, Cincinnati designated right-hander Todd Redmond for assignment.

Olivo, 34, hit .222 with 12 RBIs in 315 at-bats last year for Seattle, his second season with the Mariners.

Hart eyes return by end of April
Corey Hart underwent right knee surgery this offseason and was expected to miss four months of the season.

However, according to (via HardballTalk), Hart believes there is a "realistic" chance he may be ready to return by the end of April.

"If it takes a little longer than mid to end of May, but I feel good about end of April," Hart said in a text message. "So basically like 2011, when I come back and hit 26 homers in five months."

Last season with the Brewers, Hart hit .270 with 30 home runs and 83 RBIs.

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