Cubs agree with Marlon Byrd on 3-year deal

Outfielder Marlon Byrd agreed Thursday to a $15-million US, three-year contract with the Chicago Cubs.

Outfielder Marlon Byrd agreed Thursday to a $15-million US, three-year contract with the Chicago Cubs.

Byrd hit .283 with 20 homers and 89 runs batted in last season for the Texas Rangers. and will likely take over in centre from Kosuke Fukudome, who would move to right field full time after the trade of troubled Milton Bradley to Seattle.

Byrd gets $3 million US next year, $5.5 million US in 2011 and $6.5 million US in 2012.

A career .279 hitter with 60 homers and 335 RBIs in 785 major-league games with Philadelphia, Washington and Texas, Byrd will be reunited with former Texas and current Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. In three seasons working with Jaramillo in Texas, Byrd batted .295 with 40 homers and 212 RBIs.

Byrd led the Rangers in game-winning RBIs last season with 12 and hit .333 with runners in scoring position.

He has played all three outfield positions during his career and had a .991 fielding percentage last season with only three errors in 341 chances. He made 100 starts for the Rangers in centre field, 35 in left and six in right.

Byrd, 32, originally was selected by Philadelphia in the 10th round of the 1999 amateur draft.