Cubs finalize two-year deal with Hairston
Outfielder Campana designated for assignment
MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs added to their bench on Sunday, signing free agent Scott Hairston to a two-year, $5 million contract. Popular outfielder Tony Campana was designated for assignment to make room on the roster.
Hairston batted .263 with 20 homers and 57 RBIs last season with the Mets. A right-handed hitter, he has a career .247 average and has played for the D-backs, Padres, Athletics and Mets. Hairston could platoon in right field with the left-handed-hitting Nate Schierholtz.
"It gives us a lot of versatility in the outfield, and he's a guy who's proven he can hit left-handed pitching and is one of the best platoon guys in the game," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said on Sunday. "Given that we have a left-handed hitter in [David] DeJesus and a left-handed hitter in [Nate] Schierholtz, Scott should add a nice element for us, and we're excited about that."
Hoyer also had Hairston on his roster when the two were together in San Diego. Hairston's older brother, Jerry Jr., played for the Cubs from 2005-06.
A fan favorite, the 26-year-old Campana batted .262 with nine doubles, one home run, 54 stolen bases, a .306 on-base percentage and a .300 slugging percentage in 184 games with the Cubs over the last two seasons. He totaled 30 stolen bases last season, tops on the Cubs and ninth most in the National League.
The Cubs now have 10 days to trade Campana or place him on waivers. He could return to the team if not claimed.
"We preferrred not to take a pitcher off [the 40-man roster] at this juncture," said Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, regarding the roster move. "Looking at the position-player group, it seemed to make sense for us [to remove Campana]. We hope we can keep him in the organization. He's one of the best runners in the league and could be a weapon for a contending team in a certain role.
"I think the biggest area where Tony needs to continue to work is finding a way to get on base where he can continue to use his speed," Epstein said. "Regardless of what happens, we value his contributions, value his character and wish him the best."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.