Cubs, Indians swap outfielders

By Jim Callis
July 18, 2005

Though they exchanged players who play the same position, the Cubs and Indians both filled needs with a Monday trade. Cleveland added some power with Jason Dubois while Chicago picked up an outfielder capable of playing in center in Jody Gerut.

Dubois, 26, led the Triple-A Pacific Coast League with a .629 slugging percentage, but neither that nor that Cubs’ hole in left field garnered Dubois regular playing time under Cubs manager Dusty Baker. In 52 games this season, Dubois hit .239/.289/.472 with seven homers and 22 RBIs in 142 at-bats, his first extended chance to play in the majors. He was demoted to Triple-A Iowa on July 7. At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, he can generate impressive power, but his impatience can get the best of him at the plate. A former two-way star at Virginia Commonwealth, he has a strong arm but not much range in the outfield or speed on the basepaths. He also has experience at first base.

Gerut, 27, could take some center-field playing time from Jerry Hairston Jr. An Illinois native, Gerut broke into the majors with an impressive .279/.336/.494 rookie season in 2003 but hasn’t shown the same power since. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last September, and didn’t return to Cleveland’s lineup until mid-May. He hit .275/.357/.377 with one homer and 12 RBIs in 44 games before the trade. He’s a line-drive hitter who’s going to have to find a way to incorporate more power or walks in his game to be productive offensively. He has average speed and arm strength, and he’s capable of playing all three outfield positions. Gerut likely will be eligible for arbitration after this season with two-plus years of service time. He’s a career .267/.338/.440 hitter with 34 homers and 138 RBIs in 305 games.