Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

After Hunter Pence went down with an oblique injury earlier this month, the San Francisco Giants acted quickly to add Marlon Byrd in a deal from the Reds. Some folks derided that deal, made 10 days ago, but when you’re upgrading over replacement level – which is where the Giants were going to be in that corner outfield spot without Pence – anything is better than nothing.

And Byrd’s actually been a lot better than just “anything,” hitting .278/.333/.667 in nine games since the trade. He’s been worth twice as much WAR (0.4) in those nine games than he was worth all season with the Reds. Figures.

That is all to say, don’t immediately poo-poo the latest rumor as meaningless:

To be sure, De Aza isn’t having a great year, but his .261/.319/.436 line with the Orioles and Red Sox has been slightly above average. If the Giants are able to add him and maximize match-ups in September (he’s got a 116 wRC+ against righties this year), it’s an improvement.

We’ll see if anything happens today. The Giants enter play 5.5 games behind the Cubs for the second Wild Card spot.

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