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12/16/2008 11:53 AM ET
Cubs agree to terms with outfielder Joey Gathright
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs and outfielder Joey Gathright today agreed to terms on a 2009 contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Gathright, 27, has played all or part of the last five seasons with Tampa Bay (2004-06) and Kansas City (2006-08), batting .263 (301-for-1145) in 399 Major League games. He has recorded 78 stolen bases in 105 attempts, good for a 74 percent success rate. Gathright has primarily seen action in center field with 321 appearances (259 starts). He has appeared in 71 games in left field (61 starts) and one game (one start) in right field in his career.

The left-handed hitter played in 105 games last season with Kansas City and recorded 21 stolen bases in 25 attempts, an 84 percent success rate and his third campaign with 20 or more stolen bases (also 2005 and 2006). He tied for fourth in the majors with 15 bunt hits and ranked ninth in the big leagues with 29 infield hits. Overall, Gathright batted .254 (71-for-279) with 41 runs scored, three doubles, one triple and 22 RBI in 105 games in 2008.

Gathright broke into the majors with Tampa Bay in 2004 at the age of 23 and split the next two seasons between Triple-A Durham and the big leagues before his trade to Kansas City on June 20, 2006. He enjoyed his finest professional campaign in 2007, batting .307 (70-for-228) in 74 games with the Royals and .341 (76-for-223) with 60 games at Triple-A Omaha, combining to steal 34 bases between the two stops.

According to his media guide bio, Gathright has been clocked at 6.1 seconds in the 60-yard dash and 3.3 seconds from home plate to first base on a bunt.

The five-foot-10, 185-pound Gathright is a native of Hattiesburg, MS, attended Bonnabel High School in Kenner, LA and was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the 32nd Round of the 2001 June Draft. He was non-tendered by the Royals last Friday.

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