We’re all pretty sure that Marlon Byrd is about to go on an unparalleled hot streak, right?

  • On the Byrd trade, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer says it wasn’t about ditching Byrd so much as it was about dealing from a position of depth. “The slow start didn’t play any part at all,” Hoyer said. “We had talked about a deal [with the Red Sox] at the end of Spring Training. Our feeling was we’ve been trying to acquire relief pitching since the end of the winter. We felt like an area we have some surplus with young players we want to play is in the outfield, so that was a big part of it.” I’m sure Hoyer is shooting straight on that one. If anything, the slow start didn’t make the Cubs more likely to deal Byrd, it just made it harder to deal him.
  • Hoyer added that, as I suspected, Brett Jackson isn’t going to replace Byrd in the Cubs’ outfield for now. “Brett’s playing hard and all the reports on what he’s doing in Iowa are good,” Hoyer said. “He’s still early in his Triple-A career. He hasn’t had that many plate appearances down there. He still has work to do. We feel he’s a big part of our future but I wouldn’t read into anything as far as timing.”
  • It sounds like the trade involves the Cubs kicking in all of Byrd’s salary, minus about $400K, which you could interpret either as enough money to cover Michael Bowden’s salary, or enough to have the Red Sox paying a prorated Major League minimum for Byrd. The Cubs also get a PTBNL, who is expected to be named by mid-May. The Cubs have a list to choose from, and Hoyer said the Cubs will likely select a pitcher. I wouldn’t expect it to be a big-time prospect.
  • The Cubs say Ryan Demspter’s DL stint is precautionary, and an effort to ensure that he’ll be fine the rest of the year. “He’s much, much better, but he still feels it,” manager Dale Sveum said. “[The move is] just precautionary. Let him miss a couple of starts and hopefully end up with 31-32 starts when the season’s over — if this thing doesn’t linger and he’s able to pitch the way he’s capable of pitching.”
  • The Cubs’ other DL’d pitcher, Kerry Wood, threw a light bullpen session on Friday.
  • BN’er DocWhimsey analyzes – in graphical form! – the nature of teams’ wins, and how various stats correlate to team wins. Great stuff.
  • Kyle

    An entire season at AAA really wouldn’t hurt Jackson one bit.

    • When the Music’s Over

      If the guy is producing at AAA, not sure I like that idea. If it does happen though, you’ll have people calling to back up the clock yet another year and not call him up until June/July 2013.

  • Ivy Walls

    A former MLB player once said that the best thing to happen is when an established veteran who is occupying playing time but not producing is jettisoned that it even though on one level teammates are sad (knowing this could/will eventually happen to them) but it is a big relief that someone else will eventually be manning the playing time and producing.

    Yesterday Mather did just that with his first AB. The next to go is Soriano, this will be a hard financial decision but look they basically gave Byrd away for consideration, (Hoyer-Epstein’s trades outside of Cashner and Marshall have been salary dumps), so Soriano’s might be the biggest legacy on Hendry and the Tribune Co., Having him go on waivers and then a minimum FA contract will give the Cubs $400,000 to pay for another freshman. The money is sunk anyway.

    In real terms on the field I would rather have Mather, Campana, RJohnson and BJackson on the field than Soriano, Byrd, Mather, RJohnson.

  • Spencer

    Everyone is saying the right things as far as calling up Jackson goes. But, in the back of their mind, they have to be aware of his service time and I think that might be a bigger factor in when he gets called up than anything. Of course, no one is going to come right out and say that. But I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Jackson is “finally ready” or “has enough plate appearances” to get called up a week or two after his service time clock dings.

  • rcleven

    If we take Theo-Jed word Jackson will not be called up till he has at least 500 AB’s in AAA. Currently at around 293 PA’s. Should be in Chi late June-early July

  • djriz

    Ultimately, what will be the deciding factor on Jackson, Rizzo and maybe even Vitters, is going to be attendence at Wrigley. Not saying it’s right, but if the team keeps playing like this, empty seats are going to overtake paying customers, so the Cubs will do something to gin up interest.
    I personally think hurting the players development will be a bigger factor than service time, as many players are signed to long term contracts before free agency is an issue.

  • Spencer

    Is Randy Wells out of options?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Interesting question. He isn’t, but there’s some funky thing with demoting him because of his service time. It could be an issue.

  • ty

    Question about Rizzo! I did see Rizzo some in S.T. but a very knowledgeable friend told me recently that Rizzo at first base plays everything to the side-does not get in front of hard hit balls and that this is a big problem. Anybody in Iowa that has seen him lately; join in.

    • Adam

      Only seen two games, but he looks just fine to me.

  • Zogie

    I believe the Red Sox got the best out of this Marlon Byrd trade. Bowden was DFA and would have probably been claimed for nothing and the PTBNL won’t be significant at all. Plus add in that they only have to pay Byrd 400,000. Boston gets a starting outfielder who plays good defense and will probably come out of his slump soon. I’m guessing the cubs were rather generous since Chris Carpenter went on the 60 day DL. It may have been a way to ease the tension because the Red Sox felt robbed with the Epstein compensation.

  • rcleven

    Nobody wins this trade. Byrd was traded to open up roster space & he went to the first taker.Boston needed a role player for a couple of months. If Byrd preforms he helps Boston fill a role till their outfield returns to health. If he sucks he gets waived and released on the Cubs dime.

  • Eric S

    Not at all Zogie. Byrd was a free agent at the end of the year, and he was going to get dumped anyway. Whether that was now or at the deadline his days were numbered. As much as I hate saying we’re not expected to contend this year, we’re not expected to contend this year. Why let Byrd walk in the off season when we can pick up a reliever (which we needed regardless if he was DFA’d or not) and a player to be named later. All it’s costing us is cash. Theo made it clear in the off season that Tom Ricketts was going to spend a lot of money paying guys to play elsewhere, and so far that’s been true. Byrd and Zambrano have eaten a lot of that money and maybe after this year we can pay 90% or more of Soriano’s contact to play on another team for two years. I’m thinking Soriano may play 1-2 more years in Chicago before the Cubs send him elsewhere and eat the 90-95% remaining.

  • art

    in the past, many very good to HOF players have said they were better hitters in the major leagues cause the pitchers put the ball over the plate. in the minors the kid pitchers were all over the place, so many hitters swung at everything cause they didn’t want to walk. so Jackson may still strike a lot up here but, IMO he’d also be a better hitter with Dale and the HOF, greatest batting coach ever MR. Rudy Jaramillo.

    seriously, i’m not a Jaramillo fan. i do feel at this point Jackson could be better up here weather it’s now or June/July.

    or do we start calling him Brett Pie?

  • Zogie

    6 M is a lot of cash. Just think of us paying Bowden the extra 6 M. I understand we need to unload, but I guess i’m just tight when it comes to money, I would hate to pay 6 M to a player playing against me. I just believe they could have received more for the deal. Hopefully the PTBNL will be decent.

  • clark addison

    Epstein and Hoyer are serious about their long term approach. If and when they call up Jackson, Vitters, and Rizzo it will be because they are ready. Not just to put asses in the seats.

  • nkniacc13

    I don’t mind the trade because 1. You were going to pay Byrds contract either way even if you traded him in July and now you got a minor leaguer who was a top 10 prospect as late as 09. You also get a lottery ticket bascially in the ptbn.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    Of Ty Wright and closer Frank Batista have been promoted from Tennessee to Iowa.

    Wright is not much of a surprise (although I had expected it to be Ridling).

    Batista is surprising.  I suspect Wells’ place in the Iowa rotation will be taken by Frankie De La Cruz, and that Batista will step into ninth inning hole left by Maine.

    Batista was an All-Star closer for a championship team in Daytona last season, and so far this year he has been pretty much automatic in Tennessee.  He is not highly touted or considered to be any kind of a significant prospect; he just does the hardest job in the bullpen better than almost anyone else anywhere else in the minors.  If he continues to succeed as a closer in Iowa, I think we have to start considering him as a late inning candidate for the Chicago Cubs next season.

    Marcus Hatley, it appears, will take over for Batista as the Smokies’ closer.

    LHP Casey Harman was promoted from Daytona to Tennessee.  Tennessee should still have a roster spot open.  That could be interpreted as a sign that Junior Lake is going to be activated soon.  And it could mean something completely different.

    In Daytona, Matt Loosen was activated from the disabled list, and that’s were the chain reaction of promotions ended.

    For now.


    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Good stuff, Luke. Harman is an interesting one. Good success so far.