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byrd-is-the-wordI can’t vouch for the veracity of this, but Evan Grant, who runs the Texas Rangers blog for the Dallas News, says that the Chicago Cubs are close to signing Marlon Byrd.

Marlon Byrd is close to getting a deal done with the Cubs. The Cubs were interested in both Byrd and Mike Cameron, but had to deal Bradley before they could act. While the Cubs were stuck, Boston signed Cameron, leaving Byrd out there. Looking for confirmation on a deal, but Byrd does appear to be the next domino to fall once the Cubs finalize the Bradley deal. Dallas News.

None of this is surprising, of course, as we had already presumed once the Bradley deal was complete, Jim Hendry would turn his laser-like focus to Marlon Byrd. A disappointment waiting to happen, Byrd would play center field, with Kosuke Fukudome heading back to right field.

  • kevin g

    Why sign another Alfosono to play cf. No he isnt even as talented at him. i qould go the trade route to see what you can find. But we all know Henery as been fixated on Byrd for years. Are they even playing on dressing the second base issue or are they hoping castro is ready and move Theriot to 2nd. That is a really big gamble. that my 2 cents, sorry for any typo doing this on my phone and quickly.

    • Ace

      I think the plan at second is a Baker/Fontenot platoon, which is probably fine. Whenever Castro is ready (unlikely to be this year), the plan will be to slide Theriot over. Fontenot and Baker would then be utility players at that point, and my guess is that only one (at most) would remain on the Cubs.

  • ed

    Totally predictable. Hendry is going to throw a pot of gold at this AL guy, because he had one decent year in a ridiculous offensive division. It seems like Hendry is always infatuated with players from other teams and never happy with his own. Byrd’s numbers are obviously bloated. Podsednik is the better player, and probably costs less too.

    • Ace

      The real problem is that Byrd hit incredibly well in Arlington (everyone does), and terribly, terribly on the road. It simply can’t end well.

  • kevin g

    What about Rajai Davis of Oakland do you think they could trade for him? He is a leadoff hitter and plays a pretty good centerfield. And platooning fontento worked real well last year. Dont get me wrong I would love nothing better then to see him bounce back, but it is a risk.

    • Ace

      I don’t know what the A’s situation is in center field, but I wouldn’t be too crazy about pursuing Davis. He was solid last year – slightly better than average – but before that, he was pretty terrible. Sure, last year could have been him turning a corner (age 28), but it would be a risk. I’d almost rather just put a Reed Johnson / Sam Fuld platoon out there.

  • kevin g

    I too would much rather see fuld and johnson out there but I dont see Jim giving them that chance, I am just trying to look for other option beside Bryd. Because Crisp had a terrible year last and Pods isnt a centerfield. So I am just looking for other options.

  • http://fantasybaseballhotstove.blogspot.com Mark

    Didn’t they already bring in a guy and sign him to a bad contract that played well in Texas in the previous season? I can see deja vu taking place if they brought in Byrd.

  • Kevin G

    During my search for a centerfielder I came across Bret Gardner so what do you think it would take to get him from the Yankees?

    • Ace

      Depends on the rest of the league’s interest – the Yankees have a glut in the outfield, so they’re likely to move someone, particularly if they re-sign Damon. Could be Melky Cabrera, could be Gardner. But I’m not sure how much more Gardner brings to the table than does Fuld.

      Why can’t Brett Jackson just be about three years more experienced and just as successful as he was last year?

  • DaveB

    Im no fan of Byrd being our center fielder on opening day, but he did hit .283 with 20 homers and 89 RBI last year. And Ace you keep bringing up how much better he hit at Arlington, but his 2009 home/aways splits weren’t bad.

    AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
    Away 270 24 77 18 0 6 37 12 5 49 3 3 .285 .322 .419 .741

    He actually hit for a higher average by 3 points on the road. Its not like Wrigley is a pitchers park either, I don’t see why he couldn’t adjust.
    I’d rather have someone else and I know that Hendry is going to give him way too big of a contract (money and year-wise) but I think you have to keep in mind that last year he outproduced both Kosuke and Milton. If Byrd could put up similar numbers in 2010 (hes 32) and Soriano can have any type of rebound now that hes healthy (obviously a big IF) then our outfield won’t be as big of a joke as it was last season.

    • Ace

      I appreciate the effort Dave, and I don’t mean to be glib … but 3 points higher (in average)? His OPS was 133(!) points higher at home. And it’s been that way each and every year he’s been in Arlington. Those numbers you just posted – his road numbers last year – that’s the real Marlon Byrd. That’s what he’s hit when he hits anywhere but Arlington. I’m not optimistic.

      Byrd is looking for 3 years and at least $6 million per – and when it comes to Jim Hendry, Byrd is likely to get it. Ugh.

  • Kevin G

    He isnt much different the Fuld maybe a little more speed.But They arent going to give Fuld a shot. As for Jackson cant wait to see what see can do when he.gets to the bigs.

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