Marlon Byrd to Red Sox: A Poor, Yet Necessary Acquisition
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The trade is reported as "imminent" and may be officially announced at any time now. This deal would mark the first major in-season trade for Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer's administration in Chicago as well as Ben Cherington's first in Boston.
Byrd, a 35-year-old center fielder, has struggled this season, much as he did at the end of his 2011 campaign, after a hit-by-pitch sidelined him with a face injury midseason.
He only has three hits in 43 at bats thus far, all of them singles. Ben Cherington will hope a new environment will help Byrd turn around.
With Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford on the disabled list, as well as Jason Repko injuring himself on Friday, Boston is in dire need of outfield depth. As of now, their outfield is primarily composed of back ups and Triple-A caliber talent. The acquisition of Byrd provides Boston with at least more experience in the outfield.
Throughout his 10-year career, Byrd is a .278 hitter with some power. An All-Star in 2010 with the Cubs, Byrd actually had his best season in 2009 when he hit 20 home runs and had 89 RBI with the Texas Rangers. In 2011, he battled with injuries, but when he was on the field, he hit fairly well.
While exploring other options, most notably speedster Scott Podsednik, Boston really had little to no options on the open market or in the farm system. This is likely the worst possible time to trade for Byrd, who is currently hitting .071.
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“The talks have been good talks, from what I gather,” Valentine said. “Ben [Cherington] will try to get as good a player as he can get.”
The Red Sox skipper's words ring true here. The best possible option at the moment for the Boston Red Sox is Marlon Byrd, whether anyone likes it or not. Options are scarce and there is hope that he does pick things up with a change of scenery. He may not be the ideal replacement out in center field, but bringing him in is a must at this point.
While it is unknown what Chicago will get in return, it will likely be a left handed arm in the bullpen from Boston's major league squad or Triple-A level. Needless to say, they will not receive a whole lot for Byrd.
Update: 2:30P.M. According to Ken Rosenthal's latest Tweet, it seems likely that the Chicago Cubs will pay a chunk of Byrd's contract. There are currently "timing issues" between both sides, pushing the deal to take longer. Also, Michael Bowden is the assumed pitcher to be sent to the Cubs as part of the deal.
Update: 6:03 p.m. Previously Tweeted by Bruce Levine of ESPN, Marlon Byrd has confirmed that he has been traded to Boston. The deal is now official and details will be released following the Red Sox game against the Yankees.
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