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Cubs’ 2012 stolen base leader Tony Campana designated for assignment

Chicago Cub Tony Campanbunts reach first advance runners during ninth inning Wrigley Field Chicago Ill. Wednesday October 3 2012. |

Chicago Cub Tony Campana bunts to reach first and advance runners during the ninth inning at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Ill., on Wednesday, October 3, 2012. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media

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MESA, Ariz. -- The love affair between Cubs fans and popular outfielder Tony Campana is headed for the rocks just in time for Valentine’s Day.

The Cubs today announced last year’s team stolen base leader has been designated for assignment to make room on the roster for newly signed outfielder Scott Hairston (two years, $5 million).

That gives the Cubs 10 days to trade or waive Campana, the clear fan favorite during last month’s Cubs Convention but a player whose one great tool – speed – went underutilized because of a persistent inability to reach base. His only chance of sticking with the club is if he’s unable to be traded and clears waivers.

``It was a difficult call for us,’’ said team president Theo Epstein, whose front office took almost two weeks to make a roster move for Hairston after agreeing to terms. ``It speaks to the face our 40-man roster is starting to have better depth on it. But you add an outfielder. … We preferred not to take a pitcher off at this juncture.

``Obviously, [Campana] is one of the best base runners in the league and could be a weapon for a contending team in a certain role.’’

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