Chicago Cubs Trade Rumors: Where Could Marlon Byrd Go?
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One major league source told the Chicago Sun-Times' Gordon Wittenmyer that the Cubs offered Byrd to the Washington Nationals in exchange for some pitching. Yet, a different source said that the team is more interested in listening to offers than shopping him around.
Dealing Byrd would open up a spot for top prospect Brett Jackson, whom Cubs manager Dale Sveum thinks is ready for the majors but wouldn't get everyday playing time as the roster currently stands.
Byrd to the Nationals would make sense, as they've been looking for a center fielder for at least the past couple of years. But their more immediate need could be in left field. Michael Morse has been nursing a strained lat on his right side, and appears likely to open the season on the disabled list.
The Nats have been looking at utility man Steve Lombardozzi in left, but according to the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, manager Davey Johnson seems nervous about playing Lombardozzi at a position he's not very familiar with.
Another team that may be talking about Byrd is the Atlanta Braves, who also have an opening in left field with Martin Prado moving to third base to replace the injured Chipper Jones. The Braves could also be looking at him for center field depth. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that the team wants a backup center fielder and has considered playing Jason Heyward there, if necessary.
The Miami Marlins might be another team to check in on Byrd. ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick tweeted that the Marlins called the Baltimore Orioles about Nolan Reimold, but were told he's not available. Miami is looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder, and Byrd might fit in nicely between Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton.
Also in need of a center fielder is the New York Mets. As the New York Times' Andrew Beh writes, the Mets face beginning the season with Andres Torres on the DL due to a strained calf. Scott Hairston is on the roster as the backup in center field, but he's been out with an oblique strain.
However, the Mets aren't looking to add payroll, and Byrd's $6.5 million salary for 2012 would be problematic.
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