NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — 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.
Now, the Mets are willing to give Byrd a shot at making their major league roster out of spring training. They also added veteran reliver LaTroy Hawkins on Thursday. Hawkins also agreed to a minor league deal.
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.
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