Cubs Make Spring Roster Moves
Esteban German (AP)
Esteban German (AP)

Posted Mar 13, 2009

MESA, AZ – The Chicago Cubs and infielder Esteban German have agreed to terms on a 2009 minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training. He was granted free agency March 9 after clearing waivers with the Royals.

The 31-year-old, right-handed batter and fielder is a career .277 hitter (262-for-946) with 49 doubles, 15 triples, seven homers and 102 RBI in 366 major league contests with Oakland (2002-2004), Texas (2005) and Kansas City (2006-2008). German owns a career .284 batting average (112-for-394) against left-handed pitching and has batted .313 (26-for-83) against N.L. Central opponents.

German has seen action at six different positions, and has recorded a .982 fielding percentage (9 E/489 TC) in 141 games at second base. He has also logged time at third base (92 games), left field (61), center field (11), shortstop (eight) and first base (one).

The 5-foot, 9-inch German enjoyed a career year in 2006, batting .326 (91-for-279) with a career-best 18 doubles in 106 games with the Royals after he was acquired from Texas for Rule 5 selection Fabio Castro. He was named the Royals Player of the Month for September/October after hitting .330 (30-for-91) and tying for the team lead with 11 doubles.

Last season, German batted .245 (53-for-216) with 30 runs and 22 RBI in 89 games for Kansas City, making his third-straight Opening Day roster. He went on to record a .353 batting average (18-for-51) with runners in scoring position and hit .389 (14-for-36) in July.

Originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Athletics in 1996, German joined Texas as a minor league free agent for the 2005 season, and spent the majority of the year with Triple-A Oklahoma. He established a RedHawks club record with 43 stolen bases and matched a club mark with 153 hits. He was named the starting shortstop for the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A All-Star Game.


Outfielder Richie Robnett was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Four non-roster invitees have been assigned to minor league camp: right-handed pitcher Brian Schlitter, left-handed pitchers J.R. Mathes and Matt Smith and catcher Steve Clevenger.

Chicago’s spring roster of 53 players consists of 26 pitchers (five non-roster invitees), five catchers (two non-roster invitees), 11 infielders (five non-roster invitees) and 11 outfielders (three non-roster invitees).

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