C.R.'s Sweeney signs with Cubs

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CEDAR RAPIDS - He has promised his West Coast wife, Tasha, that they're going to move to a warmer climate. Arizona is the eventual destination.

But, for now, Ryan Sweeney just can't get her out of Iowa.

The outfielder from Cedar Rapids said he signed a minor-league contract Tuesday afternoon with the Chicago Cubs. He's expected to begin the season with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs in Des Moines.

The I-Cubs open their Pacific Coast League season Thursday night at Albuquerque.

"We've been talking to a few teams," Sweeney said. "It just got to the point to where I had to make a decision."

Sweeney was not offered a major-league contract last week by the Boston Red Sox and was granted his release. He said he believes he'll get the opportunity to eventually earn his way back to the big leagues with the Cubs.

The 28-year-old is known as a very good defensive player who can play multiple outfield positions. He's a .280 career hitter in 1,900 career big-league at-bats.

"Hopefully I'll make it back up pretty quickly," he said. "I just talked to Theo Epstein, and he said he likes the way I play."

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