Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Ryan Sweeney (12) hits a single during the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston reported on Sunday that the Red Sox were attempting to move Josh Beckett -- a story later given a bit more identification via Jeff Passan -- but within the same story, he mentioned that Boston was also shopping outfielder Ryan Sweeney.
Sweeney has had an up-and-down season, as he was hitting .368/.398/.540 on May 6, but has fallen all the way to .265/.308/.380, while also spending time on the disabled list for a concussion and then a toe injury. With the emergence of Daniel Nava (.251/.373/.397), who has improved his defense enough that he even started a game in right field recently, Sweeney becomes somewhat superfluous. He has the defensive skills necessary to make him a useful bench outfielder with Boston, but he's limited to hitting right-handers, who Nava has a career 116 sOPS+ against, and there are two other defense-first outfielders on the 40-man roster right now, in Ryan Kalish and Che-Hsuan Lin, if it came to needing one again. (Kalish has the offensive ceiling to be much more than that, but it's likely he isn't quite ready to show it off just yet.)
Sweeney won't bring back much in a trade given his current season and platoon splits, but a contender that needs depth could take him off of Boston's hands for a prospect who doesn't need a 40-man spot, solving one of Boston's issues that continues to loom with both Chris Carpenter and Andrew Bailey in need of a 40-man spot soon. As Sweeney has one more year of team control, and isn't likely to make much more than $2 million in 2013 through arbitration, he wouldn't be much of a financial burden on whoever acquired him.
Interestingly enough, within the same story, Edes reports that the Red Sox are unlikely to deal some of their more useful pieces that could be attractive to a contender, such as Cody Ross, Kelly Shoppach, or Matt Albers. That last bit is hard to believe, given the Red Sox bullpen is full at the moment, but maybe that means it's more likely that another reliever is moved before Tuesday's 4 pm deadline instead.