Phillies sign Marlon Byrd to 2-year deal

PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly signed veteran outfielder Marlon Byrd to a 2-year, $16 million deal.

Byrd had a career year with the Pirates and Mets last season, hitting .291 with 24 home runs and 88 RBIs.

The previous season, Byrd served a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug.

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 to use behind Howard.

That also means Darin Ruf's role becomes clouded. Whether he'll remain with the team as a reserve or become trade bait will certainly be debated.

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.

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