Atlanta Braves: Why Marlon Byrd Is a Great Fit for the Offense

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIApril 6, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 05: Marlon Byrd #24 of the Chicago Cubs hits a run-scoring single in the 4th inning against the Washington Nationals during the opening day game at Wrigley Field on April 5, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

For some reason, the Atlanta Braves lineup continues to struggle.

Last year, they traded for Dan Uggla, figuring that would help out, but Jason Heyward and Uggla had their fair share of troubles, as did multiple other Braves.

This year, the Braves were thought to be in a good position, considering that both players would turn it around.

However, the first game of the season against the New York Mets, showed something different.

On multiple occasions, the Braves struggled to move runners over, and bring in runners who were in scoring position with less than two outs.

My solution: Marlon Byrd.

Byrd is a good option for the Braves to trade for with the Chicago Cubs, who are looking for anything to help their struggling franchise.

In his two seasons with the Cubs, Byrd has hit .286 with 21 home runs and 101 RBI, and has a .337 on-base percentage.

True, he may not have the power, but what the Braves really need is an on-base guy.

Currently, Martin Prado is not cutting it at No. 2 in the order, nor do I think he ever really has.

Insert Byrd into the No. 2 slot and you have a guy who can do what it takes to get on base, and/or drive in the much-needed run.

Moving Prado down to No. 7 would be a great fit as he'll be able to focus on what he does best at the plate, without having to worry about setting up the middle of the order.

I don't have anything against Matt Diaz or Eric Hinske. I just think Byrd is a better option to either be platooning or starting in left field.

Of course, everything will change once Chipper Jones returns to the lineup.

Byrd is a free agent after this season, so not only do I think he'll come at cheap price in a trade, but I also believe that should things not work out, he'll leave after the season since he's a free agent, and the Braves can pursue a free agent third baseman or left fielder, with Prado likely taking the other position.

Plus, I like the fact that Byrd is from the Atlanta-area, graduating from Sprayberry High School in 1995.

Adding another hometown guy is something the Braves have always been interested in.

For a while, it worked with Willie Harris, and I think Byrd could do the same.

Even if he's not used in a full-time role, having him come off the bench would be a great option too.

Frank Wren has some things to consider. He can't afford to sit around this year.

So, we'll see what happens as the season progresses and if the Braves make a run at the outfielder.