Marlon Byrd Drawing Interest

Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd is drawing interest from two National League teams, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The Cubs offered Byrd to the Nationals for pitching and the Braves are also discussing the 34-year-old. 

GM Jed Hoyer has said he won’t be surprised if the Cubs make a move leading up to Opening Day. The team currently appears to be listening to offers for Byrd rather than shopping him, according to Wittenmyer.

Byrd posted a .276/.324/.395 line in 482 plate appearances in 2011, his second season in Chicago. He earns $6.5MM in 2012 and hits free agency next winter. The Fielding Bible Volume III describes Byrd as a reliable if unspectacular center fielder who makes up for an ordinary throwing arm with good reads and a quick release.

If the Cubs traded Byrd, Reed Johnson and Joe Mather could get more playing time in the short-term. Top prospect Brett Jackson is “ready to play here for sure," in the opinion of manager Dale Sveum. Jackson figures to be an option for the Cubs at some point in 2012, even if he needs some more minor league seasoning.

81 Responses to Marlon Byrd Drawing Interest Leave a Reply

  1. Mike Mark Sopp 3 years ago

    wonder if the Indians would be interested…..

  2. sjberke1 3 years ago

    A couple of weeks ago, Byrd to the Nats for Lannan might have been plausible. Maybe it still is, but since then Wang has gotten hurt and Bernardina has come on strong.

    • laffingrass 3 years ago

      Why would the Cubs want John Lannan?

      • Sour Bob 3 years ago

        Exactly my question.

      • gwells 3 years ago

        what pitching do you think they were asking for? byrd is essentially on a 1 yr deal and is 34, the cubs aren’t going to get a top prospect for him.

        • BDLugz 3 years ago

          Cubs need relievers, we have a plethora of average 4th/5th starters.

          • CubShrubTrima 3 years ago

            we could use a closer, but not relievers………unless it was ogando

      • Guest 3 years ago

        Yeah, why would they want to get a guy that would be their 2nd best pitcher and is younger than the guy being traded away?

        • You honestly think Lannan is better than Volstad and Maholm? Let alone Garza and Dempster. 

          • sourbob 3 years ago

            “B-b-b-b-but he won ten games and had a nice ERA!”


        • sourbob 3 years ago

          Putting aside for a moment the notion that a guy in line for another 1.1-1.4 WAR season would be better than what the Cubs already have (he wouldn’t be), you still have to ask why a rebuilding team looking to save money and acquire controllable assets would deal one well-paid, middling veteran for another one…

  3. baseball52 3 years ago

    To the Red Sox for Kurcz and Carpenter. hah

  4. craigkimbrelfan 3 years ago


  5. Marlon Byrd for Zeke Spruill? 

    • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

      Too much to give up.  Spruill is a top ten prospect for the Braves.

      • NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

        Spruill is worth Byrd but only if he continues to wear that helmet. Thing makes him look menacing and therefore he provides some attitude ;). To be honest, Spruill might not be worth Byrd, but remember who is making these decisions now for the Cubs.

  6. cubsfan97 3 years ago

    Problem with Byrd for Lannan is we already have 8 starting pitchers for 5 spots.  Garza, Dempster, Volstad, Samardzija and Maholm is our rotation, with Wells, Lopez and Travis Wood left for the bullpen or AAA.  I understand having good depth, but after a while its not depth, its hoarding.

    • Ray Mitten 3 years ago

      I don’t think the Nats are going to tradea reasonably young lefthanded major league starting pticher for a stopgap 34 year old outfielder, so my question as a Nats fan is why would the Nats trade Lannan for Byrd?  Perhaps the Cubs are seeking pitching prospects for Byrd, which would make some sense on both sides, since the Cubs are several years away from contention and are being rebuilt, and the Nats are seeking a short term CF until Bryce Harper is ready.

      • FS54 3 years ago

        except the fact that we don’t have immediate pitching prospects after that Gio deal. I think whatever pitching prospects we have, we need to hold onto them. We will need most in near future, once Ejax and cmw leave after the season.

      • sourbob 3 years ago

        The Nats would probably love to trade Lannan for Byrd–a mid seven figure salary they don’t particularly need for a mid seven figure salary guy they do need. Lannan may be young, but his career high WAR is 1.4 and he already makes $5MM. He only has one year of team control left after this season and the raise he’s due to get in arbitration is almost certainly going to make his salary more than he’s worth.

        That said, I can’t imagine the Cubs would want him, so you’re safe. Your line of thinking that they would want prospects is almost certainly closer to the truth. I don’t think they necessarily have to be pitching prospects, though. Just controllable, forecastable assets.

  7. Holy_Cattle 3 years ago


  8. johnnythoren3 3 years ago

    Ba Ba Ba Ba Byrd Byrd Byrd Byrd is the word.

  9. craigkimbrelfan 3 years ago

    You know when you get excited about a potential Marlon Byrd acquisition that your team has possibly the most boring FO in baseball.  I’ll take it…

    • erm016 3 years ago

      What did you expect them to do as far as deals? not a lot available, not a lot of “needs” either.

      • craigkimbrelfan 3 years ago

         I didn’t criticize.  Just said I’m bored. 

  10. NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

    Why…on earth…would the Braves want this guy? Chipper is going to out a month at the most!!! Are we really going to pay the Cubs a significant amount just to not have to settle for Jordan Parraz, Luis Durango or Jose Constanza? Geez, Frank Wren isn’t messing around is he?

    • Remember to take these articles with a grain of salt.  A lot of times “interest” is interpreted by a GM saying “yeah he’s a nice looking player”, and rumors take off.

    • craigkimbrelfan 3 years ago

      You’d rather count on a tandem of the guys you mentioned than a starting major league OFer? 

      I gotta disagree.  If they can get him on the cheap, then do it. 

      • NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

        I don’t at all disagree lol I’ve always loved this guy. Having him on our bench would be awesome. I was merely surprised that we’d do that.

      • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

        Totally agree!!

      • kray1000 3 years ago

        Might be hard to get him on the cheap though (even if it were just a salary dump) since he makes $6.5M this year.  Cubs might have to throw some money to the Braves to make it work, and I think the Cubs will get a better offer from another club with money to burn willing to pay his salary.
        He would be a good fit in the Atlanta clubhouse and the Braves have always liked him.  Maybe the Braves could justify the cost by using Prado in a super-utility role, or offset it by trading away a similar player.

        • jb226 3 years ago

          The Cubs have no real reason to dump salary, at least not at this point in the season.  At midseason they might feel a need to get rid of Byrd to open a spot for Jackson, but that’s down a whole road of “if this happens” that we can’t predict.

          On the same token, sending money along would be no issue for the Cubs — but they would want a better return for it.  If it came down to “you take his salary and give us just enough that we can say it was a ‘trade'” and “we’ll give you a decent player but you pay the bills,” the latter would win out.

          “Decent,” of course, is relative, and I’m not going to speculate on the return Byrd should bring.  But you won’t get him as a salary dump until at least midseason and even then only if it’s the best the Cubs can do.

  11. rockfordone 3 years ago

    Why not a blockbuster with the Red Sox – Middlebrooks – Anderson – Bowden for Byrd and Dempster and cash (Dempster’s salary minus 3M). Bard could go back to bullpen.

    • WorldsBiggesDBack 3 years ago

       Why would the Red Sox give up a decent prospect in Middlebrooks for a old CF and an overpaid back of the rotation starter?

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

       Why on earth would Boston want either Dempster or Byrd? Byrd they have no use for with CC back after the 1st week or 2 of the season and have Sweeny/Ross to either play RF and the other as the 4th OF with Kalish ready to play come May. Dempster is no improvement really over the collection of retreads they have signed to ML deals (cook/Ohlendorf/Padilla) and who would want Dempster in the AL East, much less making a tiny fraction of the 13m he is due and giving up Middlebrooks??? Isn’t going to happen for aged discards like those 2.

      Sorry Cubs fans, but even if Boston *did* decide to move him it would take something that would actually help the team and not just add +/- 20m in lost cause payroll.

      • Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

        While I agree that this trade makes little sense, Dempster has been an insanely consistent MOR starter for his entire career other than last year. He’s certainly a better pitcher than Cook, Ohlendorf, or Padilla.

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

           Boston supposedly never offered Oswalt more than around 5-6m and he has a better track record in the NL than Dempster and both would have to pitch in the AL East. The proposed move above was asking for one of the Red Sox very best prospects and Dempster is due 13m, 8m more than what Boston was willing to give oswalt.

          If Boston was looking at the Cubs for a pitcher, it would be towards Garza, who was one tough cookie vs top teams in the AL East and has proven it in the past if they were going to be parting with anyone along the caliber of a Middlebrooks was my point and they just were not going to be adding salary for crapshoots along the lines of Dempster when the probably could have inked oswalt all along earlier, should they have increased their offer.

          I have nothing against him, just don’t think he could have any success in the AL/AL East. Another Javy Vazquez in waiting.

          • sourbob 3 years ago

            True on Dempster vs. Oswalt… if the Sox really were willing to pony up $10-13MM for one year of an aging starter, they’d do it for Oswalt. They wouldn’t deal talent for the privilege of paying that money to an inferior pitcher.

      • sourbob 3 years ago

        I like when people respond to individual comments with “Sorry ____ fans!” Clearly, you heard about the secret meeting where we made rockfordone our leader and spokesperson.

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

           Apologies if it was a general response there.. it was over the top proposal made and something would see from yes.. Some Sox fans also on here…

          • sourbob 3 years ago

            The proposal totally deserved mocking, imo. Just reminding you to keep it pointed in the right direction.

  12. Hoosierdaddy92 3 years ago

    I’d love the Tigers to trade for this guy as a LF. As a guy who hits around .285, hits for good contact, and doesn’t strike out nearly as often as AJax, he could be the perfect fit for them as a leadoff hitter. Better call than Austin Jackson that is. I don’t really care if he doesn’t have plus speed.  Leyland doesn’t like to run his players anyway. Tigers could send a lower level pitching prospect and Brandon Inge so that the Cubs can have some veteran leadership and competition at both 3b and 2b, instead of just relying on Ian Stewart and Darwin Barney. The Cubs could also demand a better prospect from the Tigers if they made the even salary switch of Byrd for Inge.

    • stl_cards16 3 years ago

      I’m sure the Cubs want Inge……

      • Hoosierdaddy92 3 years ago

        I am not saying they necessarily would. But if they wanted a better prospect from the Tigers, they’d be willing to make the even salary switch of Brandon Inge/Marlon Byrd.

      • sourbob 3 years ago

        Read it again. He’s not saying they would want him at all. He’s saying the Cubs taking Inge’s salary would motivate the Tigers to give them  better prospects… which it would.

    • FillyPhan 3 years ago

      Rarely strikeouts? Averages over 100Ks a season

      • Hoosierdaddy92 3 years ago

        compared to AJax’s 180 strikeouts a season, I will take it. I should have said, nearly often as AJax. It’s fixed now

  13. formerdraftpick 3 years ago

    I can see either the Orioles, Cards or Blue Jays because they are Byrds too.

  14. Braves95 3 years ago

    Jordan Parraz look good at the plate and outfield, hold on to the procpects and use them in July Trade Deadline if they need to upgrade in the corner outfield, someone with  power.

    • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

      Parraz has never played at the MLB level.  I like him, but the Braves need more than that for the 4th OF, especially since Diaz and Hinske both look lost at the plate.

    • kray1000 3 years ago

      Unfortunately Parraz isn’t much of an outfielder, but the Braves do need his bat.

  15. jmag043 3 years ago

    Nationals should trade tanner Roark for Byrd. That is fair

  16. nlewiss 3 years ago

    Marlon Byrd’s passion for the game is matched by few others in MLB. Sees a ton of pitches, never flinches on an inside pitch, and implores teammates to “grind it out”! Not to mention the fastest home run trot in the game. He’s a joy to watch as a fan, even if he isn’t the most talented or game-changing of players.  

    • WorldsBiggesDBack 3 years ago

       I think you just turned Ron Gardenhire on!

  17. National fans are ludicrously overrating John Lannan. Jedstein would never move a player like Byrd for an SP like Lannan.  Oh, but his ERA was good!!  Yeah well, his peripheral and advanced stats were awful.  He’s not very good.

    Cubs will be looking for a decent B-to-B+ prospect, even if the guy is really young. I certainly see no reason they won’t get it, either. 

    And if Byrd is dealt, I do think it’ll be a lot more ABs for Dave Sappelt.  Great opportunity for him to prove, once and for all, that he’s a 4th outfielder.

    • Josh Carr 3 years ago

      While I will agree Nats overate him along with others, to suggest that ERA,AVG,HR,RBI’s mean nothing now that advanced statistics are out is ludacris. Although I do agree advanced statstics give a detailed look into a player, I dont believe that the stats The American Pastime was built upon are worthless. Both are good measures of players. You dont get a 1.5 or, 2.3, or 2.7 or any ERA number that good if your not actually pitching good, regardless of new or old stats. We often tend to discredit a player fast if he isnt ours through some new stat, and just as quick to defend our own if insulted. Point being You gotta be kidding if you think GM’s dont look at a High AVG or Low ERA or High HR Total…. Those stats still play a large role in todays game just as they did when Baseball was started. Just as they will be ALONG with the new advanced stats. 

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

         I’ll agree with that. It’s like many now forget the stats the game was founded upon mean nothing and ones some have invented within the last 15 years or so are all that matters. it’s like other changes in US society that have changed for the worse IMO.

  18. Cubs will likely be looking for the salary relief ($6.5 mil) + a low level prospect. Unless the Cubs pay the coin, they’re not going to get a lot of value in return. 

    • No. Byrd’s averaged 2.5 WAR over the past five years and is only getting paid $6.5M. That’s a positive value proposition.

      In order to get Byrd, someone’s going to have to give up at least a decent (#10-20) prospect that has some upside before even getting into the salary considerations. If the Cubs are going to eat the salary as well, you’re looking at the lower portion of the top 10 to top 15 prospect, depending on the organization’s farm system.

      Where does this notion that above-average players with positive value contracts are salary dump guys come from??


      • Josh Carr 3 years ago

        They think becuz a player hits 30 hes over the hill, and that a younger minor leaguer in their system could be bettter for a lot lower $ cost, therefore freeing up the little bit of $ to persue fantasy player X when in reality they are losing a valuable asset willingly. People are blinded by Big Names and a Little Flash, and then complain when the Hit or Miss guy actually misses more than a few times….Now they complain they wish the would have kept “Player X” or “Player Y”. Everyone needs to realize with the exception of the Yanks,Sox,Angels,Tigers,Ph*ckers,Nats,(and now apparantly MIA Marlins),your team is not going to have those MVP players unless its home-grown….

  19. The Phillies are supposedly looking for a RH outfielder.  I could see them showing interest, especially because Amaro loves him some over 30 bench players.

    • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

      I don’t understand why a bench player’s age matters at all other than to give you a reason to throw a shot at Amaro.

  20. Joshua Edwards 3 years ago

    Cubs might be willing to eat salary if it did lead to an exchange for better prospects, especially because of the new CBA. They can’t overspend to land draft picks, but they could conceivably spend money to move veterans for young players.

    But I just don’t see Byrd landing young talent even if the Cubs paid his whole ticket. And they’ve got an army of B-/C+ prospects already. 

    Fortunately for Chicago, there might be enough bidding between two teams to make it worthwhile to move Marlon. Because the Cubs don’t want a prospect as much as they want salary relief and flexible playing time for other OFers–they get that as long as Byrd is gone.

    Any team willing to pay Byrd’s salary probably gets him for a career minor-leaguer and a bucket of chicken.

    • sourbob 3 years ago

      Saving money is nice, but I hardly think that’s one of the Cubs’ main motivations for dealing Byrd. Army of B-/C+ prospects or not, that’s probably exactly what Theo and Jed would want for him. They might, however, shift their focus to B-/C+ guys at the lower levels, riskier guys a few years away, rather than additional warm bodies to fight for time at AA and AAA.

  21. BlueCatuli 3 years ago

    Really having a hard time understanding why folks think Marlon Byrd, at $6.5MM, is over paid. According to FanGraphs his value in 2010 was $17.4MM and last year, considered a down year, was still $9.1MM.

  22. crashcameron 3 years ago

    me wud luv the Byrd as a Blue Jay. except it would make them too right-bat heavy
    Should be a few teams looking at Marlon

    no probs for the Cubs either. they can just move Alfonso Soriano to centre (help rebuild his value)

    • CubShrubTrima 3 years ago

      Soriano will never be moved to center, with any team…he’s lazy, has average at best speed, and has no arm to speak of…doesn’t sound like much of a center fielder

      • Ptk123 3 years ago

        I agreed up to the point where you claim Soriano has no arm.

        • CubShrubTrima 3 years ago

          Whens the last time you say soriano throw some on out….it dont happen

  23. Michael Gardiner 3 years ago

    This comes as no surprise as a Braves fan. Atlanta gave him a look when he was a FA as well. I would not be surprised if they do a Zeke Spruill and Nick Ahmed or JJ Hoover and  Carlos Perez for Byrd. They are all okay but not fantastic prospects( maybe C+ to B level). I would love seeing Byrd in a Braves uni. Especially if its an off the bench type of move that could occasionally fill in for Chipper when he is out and Prado moves to 3B or Prado on days off.

  24. donjuandemarco 3 years ago

    Agree…as another Cubs fan, we need to clear the way for Brett Jackson.  He’s ready and he’s proven that.  Time to go young!

  25. sourbob 3 years ago

    I’d love to see Sappelt get some playing time before Jackson finally gets promoted. I’m not of the opinion he has much chance at all to be a regular, but I’d be interested to get him an extended look to see if he could be a worthwhile extra OF, or whether he’s just AAA depth.

  26. LuckyPenny1010 3 years ago

     Also, if we move Byrd to solidify our bullpen needs, we can call up Campana since we’re inevitably giving up his roster spot to Mathers anyway. Makes perfect sense. Not to mention that Mathers is a very DeRosa-esque type player who would be very valuable throughout the year for resting purposes regardless of the position.

  27. LuckyPenny1010 3 years ago

     Would it be more valuable to trade Byrd now so we can open up another spot sooner and clear the deck, or to trade him near the deadline where clubs would be willing to pay more for a shot at glory? I’m personally torn. Jackson still has time before his clock needs to be started too, however to have Campana, or Sappelt, and Mathers on the team on opening day roster could prove to be a nice move as well. Thoughts?

  28. sourbob 3 years ago

    Agreed. Actually, that defense is looking rough in general. As has been pointed out, if I had told you last year that the Tigers lineup would feature Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Delmon Young, but somebody else was going to be DHing…

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