According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, the Cubs asked the Rangers about Marlon Byrd. Sullivan says the Cubs may be willing to give up Matt Murton for Byrd. This swap could make sense given each team’s needs. Sullivan cautions that the discussions are only preliminary. The Byrd rumor first popped up via Bruce Levine about a week ago.
Byrd, 30, will make $1.8MM in ’08 in a newly agreed-to contract. He’s set to reach free agency after the 2009 season. He’s been with the Phillies, Nationals, and Rangers. He had decent years in ’03 and ’07. He’s not a guy you want to use in left field, but the Josh Hamilton acquisition would push him there unless he’s dealt.
Murton is under team control through 2011, if my calculations are correct. He’s a bit of a tweener in that his power is a bit light for a corner outfielder. Still, a career line of .296/.365/.455 in 289 games is interesting and there is room for growth if he’s left alone (he’s 26).