The pool of potential Chicago Cubs trade targets may have been reduced by two, and an important two at that.
According to Jayson Stark, the Braves “took a run” at acquiring Byrd from the Cubs after failing to land either Carlos Beltran or Hunter Pence, but were rebuffed. “Not going to be traded” is the phrase used by Stark.
As for Pena, Jon Heyman says the Pirates got the sense that the Cubs “weren’t motivated to move” Pena.
Although a case can be (and has been) made to keep each of Byrd (under contract for 2012) and Pena (could return next year or net a draft pick after the year), I can’t say I like what I’m hearing.
If teams are affirmatively approaching the Cubs about these guys, the Cubs absolutely should consider dealing Byrd, and absolutely should be motivated to move Pena. The theoretical value each might have to the Cubs after this season is, in my mind, subordinate to the very real value that they have in trade right now.
This could be a long, frustrating 24 hours.
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