April 4, 2013 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Iowa Cubs
Albuquerque, NM - The Chicago Cubs have signed OF Ryan Sweeney and IF Donnie Murphy to minor league contracts and assigned them to the Iowa Cubs. Pending a physical, both will be available for tonight's season-opener against the Albuquerque Isotopes at Isotopes Park. The Cubs re-assigned OF Tim Torres to double-A Tennessee and IF Wes Darvill to single-A Kane County.
For Sweeney, the signing brings the Cedar Rapids native back to Iowa for the first time in his pro career. The Chicago White Sox drafted Sweeney in the second round of the 2003 draft out of Xavier High School and he made his major league debut withe Sox in 2006. Sweeney has a .280 career average with 14 homers and 185 RBI in 535 career major league games with the White Sox (2006-08), Oakland (2009-11), and Boston (2012). Sweeney had been in spring training with the Red Sox, but was released on March 30. Sweeney has not played in the minor leagues, other than injury rehab, since 2007.
Murphy also brings major league experience and Iowa ties to the Cubs. Murphy has played in 244 major league games with Kansas City (2004-05), Oakland (2007-08), and the Florida/Miami Marlins (2010-12) and has a career .205 average with 18 homers and 82 RBI. Murphy split last season between the Marlins and triple-A New Orleans and hit .302 with 13 homers and 25 RBI in 33 games with the Zephyrs. The Royals drafted Murphy in the fifth round of the 2002 draft out of Orange Coast (CA) Community College. In 2003, he was the Player of the Year for single-A Burlington (IA), hitting .313 and setting a franchise record with 98 RBI. Murphy was in spring training with the Milwaukee Brewers, but requested his release on March 27.
Tonight's game is scheduled for 7:35 Central time with LH Chris Rusin slated to take the mound for Iowa. The game will be broadcast live on AM 940 and streamed live at iowacubs.com. Iowa's home opener will be on Friday, April 12 against the Isotopes at 7:05 at Principal Park. The gates will open at 5:35 for a Mediacom Fireworks Friday.
The Cubs are hosting an Open House at Principal Park on Saturday, April 6 from 10am-2pm. Fans are invited to tour the newly renovated home and visiting clubhouses. Attendees will receive a free hot dog, chips, and soft drink at the Cub Club Restaurant and receive a ticket to a 2013 Iowa Cubs game.