Here’s a real double kick in the stones. See if you can figure out why:
The Rangers’ Marlon Byrd appears to be the Cubs’ primary center field target, and sources said Hendry will be able to sign another outfielder even if he hasn’t traded Milton Bradley yet. chicagotribune.com.
The first kick should be obvious: tunnel-vision lock on Marlon Byrd is not exactly an exciting prospect, for reasons previously discussed. Might he be a serviceable center fielder for the Cubs in Chicago? Maybe. Is he likely to regress massively on the offensive side following a move from Texas (where he rocks at home, sucks on the road) to Chicago? Yes.
The second kick is less obvious: if the Cubs sign Byrd before dealing Bradley, do you think they’ll have much leverage left in Bradley talks? I mean, hello! Why the heck would any team give the Cubs more than a dime for Bradley when they know he’s now the fourth outfielder?
I know the Cubs don’t want to be held hostage this offseason by Bradley, but that’s a vice of their own creation. If Bradley absolutely must be moved, then he must be moved before another outfielder is signed (at least, an outfielder that is clearly being signed as a starter), otherwise potential trading partners can really hold the Cubs’ feet to the fire – moreso than they already can.