Marlon Byrd Trade Rumors Begin?

It is no secret that top prospect Brett Jackson will eventually be the starting center fielder for the Chicago Cubs before the season is over. But for now at least, center field is still manned by Marlon Byrd. Jackson’s inevitable arrival coupled with the fact that Byrd has struggled to produce runs offensively, are two reasons why Byrd may not be with the Chicago Cubs by the time the July trading deadline arrives.

This is where the Washington Nationals come into the picture. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported this week that the Nationals are currently looking around for a center fielder. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Nationals probably have inquired on Marlon Byrd by now.

According to Bleacher Nation, the Nationals may have done more than inquire on Byrd, as a source says that the Cubs and Nationals had discussions regarding the Cubs’ center fielder. It remains to be seen if the Cubs are at the point where they want to start fielding offers for Byrd, but with Jackson’s hot start, that time may soon be coming.

There are multiple reasons why the Cubs will not trade Marlon Byrd at this point in the season. The most obvious reason would be that it is too early in the season. It is very rare that any MLB team makes a significant trade a month into the season. Especially a trade that would involve one of their starting position players.

Has Byrd struggled this season on offense? Yes, but that is because he is not a #3 hitter in a lineup. Byrd is hitting .270/.289/.351 in 74 at bats this season. Granted that is not the best of starts to the season, but hitting .270 is certainly not the worst of starts. However, Byrd’s numbers are not acceptable for what is expected out of a typical three hitter in a lineup. Eventually Byrd is going to move down in the lineup, where he is a much more productive hitter.  So it is unfair to suggest that Byrd should be traded because of his “struggles” offensively.

The last reason why the Cubs are not going to trade Byrd right now is because Brett Jackson is not major league ready. As I pointed out last week, it is still too early to start the Brett Jackson watch. Jackson has not reached 100 at bats yet with the Tennessee Smokies. Once he does, that is probably when the Cubs will begin to discuss the next level for Jackson. The next level could very well be a brief stint with the Iowa Cubs before making his major league debut.

There will probably be a plethora of trade rumors involving Marlon Byrd leading up to the trade deadline, but at this point, it is too early to suggest that the Cubs have begun shopping Marlon Byrd.

Tags: Brett Jackson Chicago Cubs Marlon Byrd Washington Nationals

  • Luke Blaize

    Not surprised Washington has called about Byrd, and I’d be very surprised if they are the only team to have called. I’d rather keep him as a veteran fourth outfield to play behind Jackson and Colvin, but with Reed Johnson around I can see letting him go.

    There isn’t much in the Washington farm system that the Cubs could realistically land (so no Bryce Harper) that interests me significantly. Considering the Cubs got two top-20 guys from Washington for Gorzelanny, I’d expect the Cubs to get something fairly significant. The article Jordan linked references Tyler Moore (1B), but given his strikeout numbers last year, I don’t think he’s likely to be significantly better than Rebel Ridling. LHP Tom Millone may be my first realistic choice from the Washington system, but I think the Nationals have to throw someone else in as well.

    • Cheryl

      The rumors are beginning. Will there be fire or just smoke in the next few weeks? Which other teams may be calling?

      • Jordan Campbell

        Right now I think we are dealing with just smoke for a rumors perspective. It is hard to speculate on the teams considering how early it is in the season.

    • Larry

      One team that the Cubs should call when they are serious about trading Byrd is the Braves. They are in the market for a center fielder and they have a stronger farm system than many of the other teams that will be linked to Byrd.
      I am not a Braves fan, but if the Cubs are going to trade Byrd, Atlanta may be the team that matches up with the Cubs the best.

      • joehan

        I agree that the Braves tend to have better prospects in their system. As long as the Cubs do not get another Micah Bowie or Ruben Quevedo in return, I’ll be happy. I’m sure Luke can provide more info on possible prospect targets once rumors become a little more rampant.

  • http://ielpseTable lou

    Let the rumors begin!!! Heck, being a realist and a Cub fan who realises that the best way to build is from within, i’m all for dealing guys like Byrd, Ramirez, Dempster, Koske and by some miracle Soriano for pieces to the unattainable puzzle of winning a championship..If those 5 guys could net us like 10 solid propects to supplement what Tim Wilken and Oneri Fleita have done with the minors, this team will be dangerous for a very long time.

    • Jordan Campbell

      Stay tuned, I’m working on a piece that will probably be right up your alley.

      • http://ielpseTable lou

        I can’t wait to read it Jordan… Honestly, when was the last time this team went totally young?? 1989??? 1966??? Both of those times the Cubs were going to be good for a long time, however in 89′ or after, Jim Frey killed the farm system with atrocious drafts and even though Leo almost got the Cubs over the hump by 1969, they traded too many kids in the following years (Oscar Gamble, Joe Niekro, Burt Hooten)for aging vets to try and get over the hump and never quite made it… They need to go young, clear salary and sign free agents who are “COMPLETE” ball players..Not all hit no field, no plate discipline kind of guys like Alfonso etc.

  • Ashley

    Love to see Bjax up in the majors but I agree he is not ready yet. Give Byrd time and he will figure it out, I just think the Cubs have to look into moving him out of the three hole.

    Off topic comment but I read on ESPN last night that the 1919 White Sox said they got the idea to throw the series from the 1918 Cubs. Anyone beleive that the Cubs threw the 1918 World Series?

    • Jordan Campbell

      I have seen the reports about that theory, and currently doing some more research on the topic. Expect something around this weekend.