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New York Mets sign outfielder Marlon Byrd to minor-league contract

The New York Mets have signed 35-year-old outfielder Marlon Byrd to a minor-league deal, the team announced.

Byrd last played for the Red Sox in 2012, when his season ended following a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug. He served the suspension while on the restricted list.

The Mets are desperate for outfield help, as Mike Baxter, Collin Cowgill and Kirk Nieuwenhuis -- who have a combined 284 games of MLB experience -- are the only outfielders on their major league roster.

https://twitter.com/Mets/status/297490142497742848

General manager Sandy Alderson has even joked about his team's lack of outfielders several times this offseason, including during a speech at the Baseball Writers' Association of America dinner in mid-January:

"A message to Mets fans. There's been a lot of talk about our outfield. And I want you to know that I'm in serious discussions with several outfielders I met on the internet," he said, referencing the Manti Te'o hoax. "There's one I really like. He says he played at Stanford."

Byrd batted .210 with one home run in 143 at-bats in 2012. A career .278 hitter with a .749 OPS, he enjoyed his best seasons in Chicago, where he posted 20 homers in 2009 and made the All-Star team in 2010.

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