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Amidst the last three weeks of trade rumors, one Chicago Cubs player’s name has fallen by the wayside: Marlon Byrd.

Recall that, earlier this year, Byrd’s name routinely popped up in trade rumors. As a relatively productive, inexpensive, quality guy who is under contract through 2012, Byrd made sense for a number of teams looking to add an outfielder.

And then he got hit in the face.

Naturally, the rumors died down as Byrd rehabbed. But then, Byrd came back as productive as ever, and the rumors never picked back up. Why?

I’ve speculated that it could be that, although the Cubs want to open up two spots in the outfield (for Tyler Colvin and Brett Jackson), they’d prefer to do so by dealing Kosuke Fukudome (done) and Alfonso Soriano (unlikely). If they could move those two, the Cubs might prefer to hang onto Byrd, despite his obvious value in this market. Byrd could serve as a mentor to the other two players in 2012 (and, theoretically, would himself remain a productive player worth keeping).

But, as the trade deadline approaches, maybe the Cubs will be forced to rethink their position. Byrd could almost certainly net a solid prospect or two from the teams who missed out on Carlos Beltran and miss out on Hunter Pence or BJ Upton. Behind those two, he would be the best outfielder available on the market by my quick calculation (unless Carlos Quentin is, in fact, available).

As if sensing that the rumors about him had died down, Byrd joked (?) at Fukudome’s farewell press conference: “Take me, too.”

Whether he was kidding or not, and as much as I love Byrd as a player, the Cubs should strongly consider taking him up on the request.

  • auggie1955

    Byrd is one of my favorite Cubs. One of the reasons is that there isn’t much to choose from. The other is that he plays the game right. He directs traffic in the OF, he always hustles and he enjoys the game.

    I think the Cubs should try and trade him though, but if they aren’t able to I won’t be upset.

  • cubs

    Im fine if they keep Byrd, I think there are bigger issues to deal with (Soriano,Zambrano,Ram, Pena) If the Cubs Keep Byrd I would Move Him to RF with Campanis in CF(speed,speed) and Colvin in LF/1B,

  • EQ

    so nobody is saying it but, what if we trade Pena, ARam and Byrd.. and what if Pujols re-signs with the Cards and we don’t get Fielder next season… what the hell are we going to do next year for offense?? All the ARam haters will be wishing he was back. And our pitching still sucks..

    • STG3

      Then we are forced into a Complete rebuild and I would Love that.

  • RY

    Byrd is the only leader the cubs possibly have, if he gets up we will all get up, it will be anarchy!

  • RY

    in response to eq, we will suck BIGTIME, even more than this year, if that is even humanly possible, i think there should be a pole as to when the cubs get their next win, i dont see it happening this week, neither in pittsburgh either………

    • EQ

      exactly.. and it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s exactly how it turns out. it also scares me that Hendry will once again way overpay for someone to come to the Cubs.. sigh..

  • RY

    sorry misspelled pole, meant to say poll

  • Brian

    I heard that David Kaplan had an anonymous MLB team scout on his radio show yesterday or the day before. He asked the scout if his team would trade for Soriano if the Cubs agreed to pay $45 million of 60 million on his remaining contract. The scout said, “We wouldn’t trade for him if the Cubs agreed to pay all $60 million of his contract….We have no place for him on our team.”
    Now, I heard this second hand, and it also depends on the organization the scout is a part of, but it makes it pretty clear that most other teams don’t want him (duh) and that it will take an act of God for any other team to really have any desire to acquire him. We’re stuck with him.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I tend to think there’s an AL team who would have him as their DH at about $3 to 4 million per year. They’d be crazy not to.

      • Joe Cartwright

        It is only one team that said that. They may be secure in their DH position.

        • hansman1982

          Agree, I heard the comment and I think “Kappy” was just trying to be over-dramatic. So one team said that they dont want Soriano for free…he may have been talking to a Red Sox scout…the problem is if you can only free up $1 million a year then what is the use in trading him? Surely his merchandise sales make that up. You could relegate him to being the 25th man on the roster or get him to retire and restructure that money.

  • Dick

    What bothers me about trading Byrd or Zambrano is that we don’t have anybody in the farm system who can come up and replace them right now. Brett Jackson is hitting about 0.200 at Iowa after hit just over 0.250 at Tennessee. He isn’t ready for the majors yet. Dump Z? Who takes his spot? Ortiz?? Coleman?? I would only trade these guys if we get a major league ready replacement in the deal. Another aside….If we dumped Pena, Byrd, and Ramirez, we might score about 50 runs the rest of the year.

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    Fucking Hate Hendry..totally fuck our team for life…iam going to my grave knowing my beloved Cubs never won the Big one!

  • Cheryl

    Better to trade them and be fully committed to rebuild. Hope Hendry doesn’t spend big bucks on either Fielder or Pujols. Bring Bryan LaHair up and see how he does. The cubs are bad now but by 2013 we should have a pretty good idea how well the new draftees are adjusting to pro ball. If Hendry is going to spend, use it for limited contracts and limited no trade clause agreements. Wilson would be an exception for pitching.

  • philoe beddoe

    Reality….

    Soriano is at best a platoon hitter against lefties and that’s it….no one is going to pay him anything….average to slightly above average righties own him, and he is awful in left

    Ramirez is an average defensive 3B, maybe slightly below, who can’t run, is injury prone, and whose numbers are usually inflated with second half numbers..when the team is out of contention

    Byrd is a nice fourth outfielder

    Zambrano is a cancer no one wants…

    so if all these guys are gone…who cares?…

  • http://Caracubbie Anthony C

    I would not trade Byrd. Byrd plays with an agressiveness and hustle that I love to watch. I know that he carries with him some trade value but that will remain the case in the spring and (please I hope not) again at the trade deadline in 2012. Let’s see how Jackson does with the call-up and hold off on making a trade now. We need to get whatever we can from any of the overpaid players that we have now. Byrd is the type of player that we need on this team.

  • TSB

    I uese to know a guy back in college that would always say “this Friday, I’m going to go out and pick up some chick, and then I’ll be set for the whole weekend”. On Saturday night, we would find him either alone at a bar, or at home watching TV with a bowl of cheetos. It sounded such an easy plan on Thursday, but it turned out to be much harder then one expects.
    So here I hear some of these Cub fans say, yeah trade Ramirez, and get a 40 HR 100+ RBI player; trade Byrd, for the next Willie Mays, they’re all over the other teams’ farm systems ; trade everyone (except for Castro and Reed Johnson) for the “always greener on the other side” prospects. It’s so easy to build a pennent winning team.
    Thar said, the only starting position player that I would trade (barring a spectacular offer ) is Soriano, and maybe Soto. Pitching staff, keep most of the bullpen (no Grabow), and dump the starters if the right deal comes up.

    • Michigan Goat

      So how does keeping the under performing players we have result in pennants? We have to rebuild our farm (this is starting with the signing of draft picks), get rid of aging vets that cost too much, and make sound, responsible FA and quality trades. Don’t get your hopes up for next year, especially with this team, it’s time to wash the the team clean and start next year with a new plan, new look team, and I believe Ricketts is preparing for just that… It’s just not happening fast enough for everybody.

      • EQ

        Problem is we don’t know if we’re rebuilding or not? It’s hard to say you’re rebuilding when you have a 130+ million dollar payroll.. tell that to Pittsburgh, Kansas City and San Diego.

        We need to either rebuild or restock.. Next year’s FA class is weak after Pujols & Fielder, so re-stocking will be difficult without way overspending and being right back where we are now in a few years.

        Here’s the problem… we are obviously in a place to rebuild.. just about everyone else would be.. but Hendry will feel the need to “compete” next year and unfortunately, some of our best options at certain positions are currently on our team and not helping us win.

        So, unless Big Z, Demp, Soriano, Marmol, etc. all have great years next year, we will struggle to get out of 5th place again, no matter what everyone here thinks or wants, that’s the unfortunate and sad truth about this organization.

        • hardtop

          can someone explain to me why pujols keeps coming up. i personally eliminated him imeediately for a plethora of reasons, which i assume are obvious so i wont even recap the con list. can some one give me a pro list that justifies being strapped with maybe the biggest contract in baseball histrory for the next 10 years. Does anyone really think we wont be regretting pujols in the last 4 years of his deal like we are regretting soriano in his? no chance this guy is worth 30 mil when hes 41 years old.

          and then there is of course what tsb said, which i agree with.

      • TSB

        Who in the Cubs starting infield is underperforming? Projected year end stats:
        Pena: 32 HRs, 82 RBI
        Ramirez: 31 HR, 102 RBIs
        Both of the above with very little offensive help from the OF, that is where the Cubs real offensive problems are.
        Sure, trade them and get Pujols or Fielder; and then you have no money for pitchers or outfielders. Prospects? trade them and have an outfield of Pie, Patterson, and Murton.
        The Cubs have major holes in their team; 1B and 3B are not one of them.

        • Jeff

          That’s assuming both of those guys hit like they did in June for the rest of the year and not how they did the first two months of the year.

        • pfk

          Your calculations are way off on the year end projections.

        • pfk

          With 2 outs and runners in scoring position Ramirez is hitting .157 and Pena is hitting .148. These guys are supposed to be your bread and butter in these situations. What a player hits when the game is on the line is what really counts and the fact is, while both will put up numbers that look pretty good, when you drill down, you see the stark reality of them not getting the job done. And, you don’t need the numbers to know this. If you’ve been watching the games, not getting the timely hit is a recurring theme.

          • Michigan Goat

            Thank you PFK, although there will still be some who will want to sign them for 3-4 year extensions.

          • pfk

            Compare Ramirez (.157) and Pena (.148) stats of 2 outs and runners in scoring position against the following: Pujols .345, Berkman .370, Fielder .298, Gonzalez .358, Texiera .290. Scary bad isn’t it? Nuff said!

            • Michigan Goat

              Preach on… They just aren’t hitters you need on a struggling team, on a contender they could be nice additions but they just aren’t worth it to a team that struggles, and I’m sick of hearing “whose going to replace them” I’d rather have a turd sandwich that cost the league minimum than a 10+M Giant Douche.

        • Madprizamwoo

          TSB that was well said. You hit the nail on the head. Leave the infield alone unless were signing Reyes!!!!!

    • Jeff

      The problem with your line of thinking is the Cubs wouldn’t be going into free agency blind, looking to pick up some random chick. Everyone knows that Pujols and Fielder are 40 hr 100+rbi guys, and both are younger than Ramirez. I also haven’t read anyone speculating that Marlon Byrd is going to bring back any kind of top prospect. Since you can’t seem to understand our line of thinking, I’ll try to explain it as simply as possible. Ramirez, Byrd, Zambrano, and Dempster are part of the core of this team, they are all older players that will only be helping the Cubs this year and possibly next. Their production is already declining and will probably only worsen over the next season and a half. They have some value as trade chips right now and would bring back prospects that could help the team well into the future. If our scouts are as good as they say they are, they should be able to find one or two building block guys out of all these old, over priced veterans. None of us are suggesting that team is going to immediately turn it around next year. We are fully aware that any rebuilding is going to take two or three offseasons, free agency or other wise. The only justifiable reason to keep the older players is if you think this team will have an immediate turnaround, and only the naive fans are the ones thinking that it’s going to happen overnight. Do I expect them to improve next year? Yes. Do I think that the end all solution to the Cubs problem is going to be signed this year? No. It’s going to be a slow re-build and the only way to support that is to trade your guys while they still hold value, not by holding onto them because “there’s nothing better available right now”.

      • Michigan Goat

        Wonderfully stated!

      • TSB

        Well of course i don’t favor the Cubs turing into the Detroit Tigers of my youth, with bunch of +35 year old players in their starting line-up. Of course, eventually all the players on the Cubs will have to go, either by trade, retirement, or release. My point is that Ramirez and Pena (as I mentioned, to hell with Zambrano, Dempster, and Soriano) still can produce very well for the next 2-3 years; if they can’t we are not going to get much for them. And this faith in the allmighty “prospect” is often overstated. Sure, the Cubs’ scouts may search the other teams’ farm systems for hidden treasures, and wind up with an a 100+ win team. But chances are, for what the
        Cubs have to offer, you will get a bunch of marginal major league players, with maybe a few good ones. FA? pitch around Pujols or Fielder.

  • Fishin Phil

    That’s the problem. We need to rebuild, but Hendry is definitely not the guy to do it.

  • RY

    hopefully hendry is out of the picture soon!

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    FYI – the Enhanced Box Score is going to be a little delayed tonight. Probably won’t be up until the wee hours of the morning. Sorry for inconvenience.

    Maybe you can nominate Bleacher Nation for Best Team-Specific Site in the interim, if you haven’t already: http://blogswithballs.com/bwb4/usmap/

    You will be my personal hero if you do.

    • Michigan Goat

      Inconceivable!

      • TWC

        You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

        • Michigan Goat

          Princess Bride reference, I’ve got my daughter hooked on the movie

        • Michigan Goat

          “You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never to get involved in a land war in Asia. And only slightly less well known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!”

          I’m the fool missed the reference, blame the Michigan heat wave and non-stop rain of the past week… My wit is fried

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            You just shook your head. Doesn’t that make you happy?

    • Ron

      Date night?

      • Fishin Phil

        He’s probably catching a nap to stock up on sleep before the trade deadline marathon.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          This is very close to the truth. And it’s going to happen again tomorrow mid-day.

  • Ron

    Hate to break it to you, but you cannot “stock up” on sleep. There is fully rested and that is it.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not trying to stock up. Even worse, I’m altering my sleep pattern.

      • TWC

        Positively adorable, pal. Just damned cute.

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    Where’s my buddy TWC…haven’t seen him on here in awhile..the guy has great input

    • TWC

      Been a busy week at work, baby! Plus, today was pre-school graduation for my boy, and I’m not afraid to admit that *some* things are more important than the Cubs. Good thing I got married during the off season….

  • http://None Blinda

    I just have a feeling the Cubs are going to do some sort of trade with the Yankees before the deadline. We have enough hitters to help them upgrade their DH and maybe they would even be interested in Grabow if the Cubs ate up alot of his contract

  • Toosh

    On a different tack. Pence just went to the Phillies. Not sure if they’d still be interested in A-Hole.

    • Michigan Goat

      Damn it Toosh scooped everyone again!

  • Michigan Goat

    Pence to Phiily
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/07/phillies-astros-progressing-toward-pence-deal.html
    this officially makes ARam the best bat available and if he gets traded should net us quality prospects. Please ARam accept a trade!

  • Toosh

    Sorry. I’ve been condemned to Wisconsin for too long. Always a Cub fan. Listening to the Brewers game on the way back to my house tonight. Pence was saying his goodbyes to his teammates. Too bad Hendry isn’t interested in players like him or Rasmus. And can’t develop any.

    • Michigan Goat

      Ha, condemned- I have similar feeling about Michigan some days. But you do have a sixth sense when it comes to reporting news just before anyone else on BN… I hole you are using your power for good :)

  • Toosh

    Just lucky. And good looking too. Blessed, I guess. Gotta work on the sarcasm. Slightly inerbiated. Time for the sofa.

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    Congested TWC…my daughter made the all star team again..2yrs in a row! And she’s not even 10 until january ..she’s hitting the ball off of 12 and 13 yr old girls….my cubs could use her in left field

    • TWC

      Heh. Or at 3B…

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    I meant congratulations ..stupid I pad

  • http://None Blinda

    ESPN isnt giving the Cubs on the market any time of their day because they know what a dumbass Hendry is. They should be talking about Carlos Pena one of the biggest home run hitters in the National League is on the trade block and nobody can give a rat’s ass. DAMNIT HENDRY WE NEED PITCHING!

  • Andrewmoo

    Trade colvin for ubaldo :)

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