The Cubs have announced outfielder Tony Campana has been designated for assignment. The move was made to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Scott Hairston, whose two-year contract was made official in a team press release.
Campana's main asset is his speed as he led the Cubs in stolen bases last year with 30, the ninth best total in the National League. The 26-year-old finished 2012 with a slash line of .264/.308/.299 in 192 plate appearances. Campana became expendable after the Cubs bolstered their outfield this winter, according to MLBTR's Transaction Tracker, with the free agent signings of Hairston and Nate Schierholtz.
"It was a difficult call for us," Cubs President Theo Epstein was quoted as saying by Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. "I think it speaks to the fact that our 40-man roster is starting to have better depth on it. We preferred not to take a pitcher off at this juncture. So, looking at the position player group, it seemed to make sense to us to make this procedural move with Tony."
Epstein said he would like to keep Campana in the organization, but added he could be a weapon for a contending team in a certain role. The Cubs have 10 days to trade Campana or place him on waivers.