Phillies Complete Signing Outfielder Marlon Byrd for $16 Million

Free-agent outfielder Marlon Byrd signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, returning to the team that gave him his start in Major League Baseball.

The contract also includes a club/vesting option for 2016 and award bonuses, the team said in a news release.

“Marlon adds a significant upgrade both offensively and defensively to our outfield,” Ruben Amaro Jr., the team’s general manager, said in a statement. “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.”

Byrd, 36, had the best season of his 12 in the major leagues career in 2013, batting .291 with a career-high 24 home runs and 88 runs batted in, playing 117 games for the New York Mets before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in August.

He was taken by the Phillies in the 10th round of the 1999 amateur draft and played for the major-league club from 2002 into 2005. He’s also had stints with the Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox.

As a free agent in June 2012, Byrd was suspended for 50 games for violating baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy. After testing positive for the banned substance Tamoxifen, Byrd said it was the result of medication given to him for a private condition unrelated to baseball.

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