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.

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