Cubs Step Up Pursuit Of Marlon Byrd, Others

5:19pm: Carrie Muskat says that while Byrd is the Cubs first choice among free agent outfielders, they haven't ruled out bringing Reed Johnson back. Muskat also notes that Byrd and Bradley have the same agent.

4:23pm: The Cubs are considering Rick Ankiel, Reed Johnson and Scott Podsednik, according to's Carrie Muskat.

3:38pm: The Cubs don't necessarily have to trade Bradley before signing a free agent like Byrd, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. Byrd remains the club's top choice and talks with his representatives are ongoing, but nothing is imminent. Coco Crisp is lower on the Cubs' list and he could also be a fit.

1:06pm: The Cubs are pursuing Marlon Byrd more intensely, now that Mike Cameron is off the market, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Cubs, who wanted Cameron, are still trying to gain payroll flexibility by trading Milton Bradley and at least some of the $21MM he'll make before the end of the 2011 season.

The Rangers stand to gain a supplementary round selection if Byrd signs with another team (though Byrd won't cost the Cubs or anyone else a pick).

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