Today’s surprising call-up of Tony Campana certainly sounded like it was a precursor to another move. And the move might be a surprising one, though it’s been rumored here before.
The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo is reporting that that the Red Sox, who’ve been in the market for an outfielder after losing Jacoby Ellsbury for a hearty chunk of time (and Carl Crawford has been out as well, though he’s expected back soon), are closing in on a deal for Marlon Byrd.
No word yet on what the Cubs are hoping to get in return, but it might not be much more than salary relief at this point. Byrd is an exceptional defender in center, but he looks lost at the plate. He makes $6.5 million this year in the final year of his three-year contract with the Cubs. Maybe the Cubs can send along a couple million and pick up a low-level, mediocre prospect. Or maybe they’re picking up reliever Michael Bowden, whom the Red Sox designated for assignment last week.
I’ll update this post as more details become available.
Minor Update: If Byrd is dealt, no, I don’t expect Brett Jackson to take over in center field immediately. The Cubs are still likely going to want him to get more time at AAA. June/July still seems the likely time table. Until then, Campana could get some start, as well as guys like Mather, Johnson, and Sappelt.
UPDATE: Apparently Bruce Levine is saying (via Sahadev Sharma) that he thinks the deal gets done today, and the Cubs get a left-handed reliever and a minor leaguer.