The Cubs signed Marlon Byrd to a three-year $15MM deal today. The 32-year-old will play center field and push Kosuke Fukudome to right. Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Cubs were nearing a deal with Byrd and Carrie Muskat followed up with the contract's length and value before Gordon Wittenmyer reported the specifics: the Cubs will pay Byrd just $3MM in 2010, $5.5MM in 2011 and $6.5MM in 2012.
A number of teams had been connected to Byrd, including the Braves. He had expressed interest in returning to the Rangers, but wanted a multi-year deal. As a Type B free agent, Byrd nets the Rangers a supplementary rounder in next year's draft.
Byrd, 32, hit .283/.329/.479 in 599 plate appearances with the Rangers last year, hitting a career-high 20 homers. He played mostly in center field, where his defense was below average, according to UZR/150. However, the sample size (889 innings) is limited, and UZR did like Byrd's defense in left.