Cubs Trade Marlon Byrd and Cash to Red Sox for Michael Bowden, PTBNL

Eli GreenspanSenior Analyst IApril 21, 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

UPDATE (6:45 ET): Ian Browne of MLB.com is reporting that the Boston Red Sox will send pitching prospect Michael Bowden to the Cubs along with a player to be named later for Marlon Byrd and cash.

Bowden, an Illinois native and Cubs fan, is out of options and will join the team in Chicago.  

UPDATE (5:42 ET): Bruce Levine is reporting via Twitter that the Cubs have agreed to trade Marlon Byrd to the Red Sox. More details once the Red Sox game is over.

The Red Sox and Cubs are reportedly in talks to trade Marlon Byrd to the Red Sox to provide depth to the injury-depleted Red Sox outfield, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. Both Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford are out with injuries, and the Sox need a solid stopper who can produce while the two are out. 

The Cubs and Red Sox will easily find a match on prospects and cash. Theo Epstein knows the Red Sox's system better than anyone, and he will likely try to land a pitcher like Michael Bowden or someone who could help the team immediately. 

The Sox have limited options in the minors, so they are exploring all options in the hopes of striking a fast deal. They currently have Darnell McDonald in left, Cody Ross in center and Ryan Sweeney in right. Bringing in Byrd or another outfielder will push McDonald back to the bench, which the Sox are certainly more comfortable with.

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Byrd is hitting an abysmal .070 (3-for-43), but he's a .287 hitter over the past four seasons, which includes time in the AL. He is also in the final year of a three-year deal making $6.5 million this year, a fairly cheap ticket.

While it's not surprising the Cubs are moving Byrd, what is surprising is that they are moving him so soon. Cubs outfield prospect Brett Jackson is hitting .242 through 15 games, so he will likely remain in Triple-A for the time being.

However, if the Cubs move Byrd, they could shuffle the outfield around temporarily, moving David DeJesus to center and Bryan LaHair to right field.

The Cubs could then call up hot-hitting Anthony Rizzo, who is hitting .367 with seven home runs and a .406 OBP, to play first base.

That's one option.

It will be interesting to see how the Cubs handle the situation with Rizzo, considering it is a new organization, but the fan philosophy remains the same.

For some reason, and I know it is different for most teams, Cubs fans and media become infatuated with the "top prospects." Think about the ones over the past decade.

Corey Patterson. Prior. Felix Pie. Angel Guzman. Josh Vitters. And now Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson.

There's a few more I'm missing, but Cubs fans will soon be asking for these players if the team doesn't pick it up. The new Cubs brass has more "time" than how Jim Hendry viewed "time." His window was closing, and he gave it his all in the late 2000s, but to no avail.

The Cubs can ease these guys into big league roles and see the organization rebuild itself from the ground up.   

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