Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry has long had an affection for Eric Byrnes, despite his having fallen off a cliff in recent years. So with the Arizona Diamondbacks in a roster crunch, and interested in dumping Byrnes, the Cubs were rumored to be looking at picking up Byrnes in a salary dump from the D-Backs a few weeks ago. Nothing ever came of it.
But, he’s about to be largely free.
Once LaRoche deal is official, D-Backs will need to make a roster move. Source says they’re leaning toward releasing Eric Byrnes. Nick Piecoro.
Byrnes is set to make some $10 million this year, but if he’s released, the Cubs could pick him up for the minimum (assuming there isn’t some kind of bizarro bidding war). And given Hendry’s previous overtures, you can be assured they will be first in line for his services.
Byrnes is still solid defensively, and he can play all over the outfield. And despite his atrocious .641 and .663 OPS the last two years in part-time duty, he still hit lefties fairly well, averaging an .800 OPS against lefties over that time. On a league minimum deal? Sure, why not.
But let’s not stop looking at other options, mmmkay Jim?