Today Jim Hendry made a move that he hopes will do the same as the moves listed above. Hendry added veteran outfielder Craig Monroe, who was DFA'd earlier this week by the Detroit Tigers. The 30 year old Monroe is an outfielder who is not even one year removed from a season that saw him hit 28 homeruns with 92 RBi for the AL Pennant winning Tigers. This year the slumping Monroe lost his starting leftfield spot to Marcus Thames:
The 30-year-old Monroe, who had lost his starting job in left field to Marcus Thames, was hitting only .222 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs in 99 games.
Like several teammates, Monroe had recently been sidelined because of the flu. The Tigers have 10 days to trade, release or send him outright to the minors.
"He had a lot of big moments for us," Dombrowski said. "Craig has scuffled a little bit over the last couple of months. I think probably for him a change of scenery will be beneficial at this time. That's why it's with mixed emotions, because we like Craig and what he did for us."
Monroe batted .255 with 28 homers and 92 RBIs last year, then tied a franchise record by hitting five home runs in the postseason. He also tied for second among AL outfielders with 12 assists.
Monroe signed a one-year contract for $4,775,000 in the offseason, getting a raise from $2.8 million.
So Monroe comes to the Cubs and the expectations for him are pretty mild. He's gonna be asked to hit lefthanded pitching. Here's what Hendry and Piniella have to say:
"I think it gives us a good balance,'' Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "It was just one of those situations where you couldn't pass up a guy who has already been there and helped lead a club to the postseason. We've had our ups and downs against lefties. It gives Lou some options here that we didn't have before by just adding one good batter against left-handed pitching.''
Monroe is hitting. 302 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 102 at-bats against lefties. The NL Central-leading Cubs are just 12-19 against lefties and are batting 20 points lower as a team than against right-handers.
Monroe is versatile, too, having played all three outfield positions.
"The teams that we're playing here all have left-handed starters in their rotation,'' Piniella said. "He's a valuable addition. He gives us more experience. This guy has been in postseason, hit five home runs last year in the postseason, played in the World Series. It's a good move by Jim to get us that bat.''
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