The Cubs signed hitting guru Rudy Jaramillo to a three-year deal today as hitting coach and right fielder, filling two desperate needs from its dismal 2009 season.

“Rudy knows more about hitting than most of our players have forgotten and, trust me, they’ve forgotten a lot,” said GM Jim Hendry. “And a guy who knows that much about hitting must be good enough to play right field for us. I’m so sure of that, I’m staking on it whatever remaining credibility I have.”

Jaramillo has spent 15 seasons with the Texas Rangers. His signing has stirred up speculation the Cubs will bring back troubled OF Milton Bradley, who prospered at the plate in his one season as a Ranger.

“If we bring Milton back he and Rudy will play right field at the same time,” said Hendry. “We hope Rudy’s gentle guidance will prevent Milton from snapping again.”

Hendry said he’s only considered one lineup scenario should his team go with two men in right next season.

“We’ll probably just go without a left fielder and put someone really fast in center,” said Hendry. “Anything to get [Alfonso] Soriano off the field is what we in the biz call ‘addition by subtraction.'”

By Brad Zibung, founder and editor in chief