Marlon Byrd may not be Curtis Granderson, but he is a player that fits well on the Cubs. After agreeing to a 3 year/ $ 15 Million dollar deal with the Cubs on Thursday, Byrd seems to be eager to get out on field and help the Cubs rebound after a disappointing 2009 season.
Marlon Byrd really is the perfect type of guy that the Cubs need right now. Not so much for what he can do on the field, but for how he is portrayed off the field. He is considered to be fan friendly, and a good clubhouse guy. And after dealing with the troublesome Milton Bradley for a year, Byrd will be a nice change in their clubhouse and among their fans.
As for what Marlon Byrd can do on the field, he really is a jack of all trades but master of none, as Dave Cameron of FanGraphs points out. He is coming off of three solid year with Texas, and with new Cub hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. Last year was by far his best as he hit .283 with 20 homers and drove 89 RBI’s for the Rangers. I project Byrd as a .285 hitter with 15 homers and around 70 RBI’s for the Cubs. Byrd is an average to above average center fielder, in 8 years he only has 23 errors and last year posted a fielding percentage of .988 in center field. But the move also allows Kosuke Fukudome to move back to right field, where he is a much better defensive player.
Byrd is expected to hit anywhere from 5th to 7th in the Cubs lineup.