12/31/2009 1:38 PM ET
Cubs, Outfielder Marlon Byrd Agree to Three-Year Contract
CHICAGO - The Chicago Cubs and outfielder Marlon Byrd today agreed to terms on a three-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Byrd, who reunites with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo in Chicago, batted .283 (155-for-547) and established career highs with 155 hits, 43 doubles, 20 home runs and 89 RBI in 146 games last season with the Texas Rangers. The right-handed batter and thrower tied for eighth in the American League in doubles, tied for first in the league with 10 sacrifice flies and led the Rangers in RBI, game-winning RBI (12) and games played. He made 100 starts in center field, 35 in left field and six in right field.
In 2009, Byrd, 32, was one of only 14 players in baseball with at least 20 home runs and 40 doubles and one of only three outfielders to accomplish the feat, joining Colorado's Brad Hawpe and Los Angeles' Andre Ethier.
During the last three seasons under the tutelage of Jaramillo in Texas, Byrd batted .295 (402-for-1364) with 88 doubles, 40 home runs, 212 RBI, a .352 on-base percentage, a .468 slugging percentage and an .820 OPS in 377 games. He has averaged 29 doubles and 71 RBI per season during that stretch.
Following his first season in Texas, Byrd was voted the winner of the 2007 Harold McKinney Good Guy Award by members of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Byrd is a career .279 hitter (744-for-2666) with 154 doubles, 60 home runs and 335 RBI in 785 major league games with Philadelphia (2002-05), Washington (2005-06) and Texas (2007-09). He has batted .273 (208-for-762) in his career vs. left-handed pitching and .282 (536-for-1904) vs. right-handed pitching. Last season Byrd was particularly strong with runners in scoring position, turning in a .333 batting average (45-for-135).
The five-foot-11, 235-pound Byrd has seen considerable action at all three outfield positions, including 528 games (472 starts) in center field, 142 games (119 starts) in left field and 109 games (86 starts) in right field. Last season, Byrd turned in a .991 fielding percentage (three errors in 341 total chances), the 12th-best mark among American League outfielders. He recorded a 72-game errorless streak from September 19, 2008-June 29, 2009.
A native of Boynton Beach, FL, Byrd was originally selected by Philadelphia in the 10th round of the 1999 June Draft. Marlon, his wife, Andrea, and their two children reside in Swedesboro, NJ.