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Marlon Byrd traded to Red Sox for Michael Bowden, PTBNL

Apr 21, 2012, 5:51 PM EDT

Marlon Byrd Getty Getty Images

UPDATE: Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports that Bowden is indeed headed to Chicago along with a player to be named later. The Cubs will cover “most” of the $6.5 million remaining on Byrd’s contract.

5:51: According to Bruce Levine of, Marlon Byrd confirmed that he has been traded to the Red Sox. The deal will be officially announced after today’s Yankees/Red Sox game. It’s not clear how much of Byrd’s salary the Cubs will cover or who the Red Sox will send to Chicago.

12:42 PM: Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune writes that the Cubs “could be getting” right-hander Michael Bowden, who would get a chance to pitch out of the bullpen.

12:16 PM: Worry no more, Red Sox fans. Your old friends Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are here to help.

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is reporting that the Red Sox are closing in on a deal for Cubs’ outfielder Marlon Byrd. Jacoby Ellsbury is currently sidelined with a subluxed right shoulder and Carl Crawford is still on the comeback trail from wrist surgery, so Byrd would be thrown right into the mix with Cody Ross, Ryan Sweeney and Darnell McDonald.

Byrd is off to a woeful start at the plate this season, batting .070/.149/.070 with three singles, three walks and 10 strikeouts over his first 47 plate appearances. The 34-year-old outfielder is owed $6.5 million this this season in the final year of a three-year, $15 million deal, so the Cubs will almost certainly have to cover a large chunk of his remaining salary.

If the deal goes down, it will be interesting to see where the Cubs go from here in their outfield. Tony Campana was called up to replace the injured Ryan Dempster on the active roster, so he’ll presumably start in center field for now, but trading Byrd could speed up the timeline for top prospect outfielder Brett Jackson. There’s also the chance that the Cubs could slide David DeJesus from right to center, move Bryan LaHair to the outfield and promote Anthony Rizzo to play first base.

  1. diehardcubbiefan4life - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    If this trade DOES go through, I wish him nothing but the best. He deserves better than the Cubs right now, and during his time he has showed nothing but heart and hustle. Nothing but class from him. I wish him the best, and I hope he hits .320 the rest of the season.

    • chiadam - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      Class is great if you’re hosting a dinner party, but I don’t care if players on my favorite team are swell guys. I care that they have more than 35 RBIs (last year) and don’t hit .070 (this year). I would argue the Cubs deserved better than that for their investment.

      • diehardcubbiefan4life - Apr 21, 2012 at 1:58 PM

        I’m sorry, but in the days of million dollar salaries, its nice to see a player actually care about the game by hustling and just playing the game right. You’re right, I wish he did better, but let’s see how well you bat in the MLB after getting your face slammed in by a 96 MPH fastball. I didn’t talk about his performance. I said I wished him the best because he was just a great guy.

      • gmsingh - Apr 21, 2012 at 6:53 PM

        I assume when you say you don’t care if players on your favorite team are “swell guys”, this means you’re a fan of steroid use. The line has to be drawn somewhere. My feeling: if Ty Cobb were playing today he would get kicked out of the league for spiking guys in the face.

  2. baskallen1 - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Great move for the cubs. Byrd is on the decline and promoting rizzo will help them in the long run.

    • tmohr - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      Promoting Rizzo is fine and dandy, but who plays center? deJesus?

      If so, wouldn’t they bring up Jackson instead?

      • jwbiii - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:58 PM

        Tony Capana.

      • jwbiii - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:58 PM


      • chiadam - Apr 21, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        Jackson might be a service time issue. They can delay his arbitration rights by a year if he has less than 86 days on a major league roster this season. The same thing happened with Castro two years ago.

      • gmsingh - Apr 21, 2012 at 6:54 PM

        At this point the Cubbies would need Jesus, not deJesus.

  3. xpensivewinos - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM


    Seems like it wasn’t that long ago that the Red Sox were pretty good….

    • natstowngreg - Apr 21, 2012 at 6:51 PM

      And the Red Sox picked up spare parts in August, not April.

  4. Joe - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Marlon Byrd should stay a Cub unless he’s traded to Detroit. Those are the only places that allow him to be a sea animal, air animal, and land animal all simultaneously.

    • jyoung1891 - Apr 21, 2012 at 4:26 PM


      • Joe - Apr 21, 2012 at 11:47 PM

        Diamondbacks. Right you are. Apologies for my oversight.

    • thebigwhitecat - Apr 21, 2012 at 9:01 PM

      You forgot Miami. Marlon the Marlin.

  5. randygnyc - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    I guess Byrd is an upgrade in Boston if they were thinking about leaving the spot in the batting order EMPTY. More Lolz from Cherrington and his bosses.

  6. ryatt34 - Apr 21, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    If Byrd is traded, we’ll see how committed Theo is to keeping Rizzo down for more AAA at bats. Because Rizzo had 49 games last year, his service time has already started so they don’t gain that extra year of FA unless they keep him down till Sept. Jackson has no service time so one would reasonably expect them to keep him in Iowa till mid June.

    Also, to get once was a top BoSox prospect in Bowden for cash……err, I mean Byrd (have to pay him to go away) is a nice deal for Theo. Bowden is a Chicago burbs kid, if it happens, welcome home.

  7. clownfoodpoop - Apr 21, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    jd drew is laughing at byrds batting average haha

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 21, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      And we’re all laughing at you for quoting BA as if it’s meaningful.

  8. crispybasil - Apr 21, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Eh, don’t like or hate this deal.

  9. hammyofdoom - Apr 21, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Red Sox will probably give up a C rated prospect for outfield depth, no big deal. By July he’ll be gone, he’s a stop-gap, no big deal.

    • jwbiii - Apr 21, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      Out of options and DFAed Michael Bowden is what I’m hearing. Kerry Wood just hit the DL, so that makes sense.

  10. hojo20 - Apr 21, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Oh, yeah Byrd will be a huge pickup for the Sox. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

  11. ajsjr40 - Apr 21, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Wow! The RedSox found a player with a lower BA than Darnell MacDonald. I didn’t think that was possible.

  12. oldpaddy - Apr 21, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    And how is this better than what the Sox already have?
    A bit of a head scratcher for me.

  13. biasedhomer - Apr 21, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    I thought Byrd would be a good fit in Philly.

  14. aceshigh11 - Apr 21, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    I don’t know how much of a difference this will make to the Sox, but he can’t possibly be any worse than their other options.

    Their outfield is a disaster. The lack of offense is unacceptable for a major league team.

    I KNOW, I KNOW Ellsbury and Crawford are injured, but c’mon…Sweeney has been a pleasant surprise but he needs a bit more pop in his bat. McDonald is a good guy but just can’t hack it, and Ross has been a decent backup.

  15. stairwayto7 - Apr 22, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    A below average player goes to an over hyped team…

  16. daveydawg - Apr 22, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    Overhyped? This team sucks. He’ll fit right in.

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