Sep 21, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd hits a three-run home run during the sixth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Marlon Byrd: Trade or Keep?

Mar. 11, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd (24) takes a walk during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. Dodgers won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE


Marlon Byrd hustles like few others in the major leagues. He plays the game the right way and he is a player that can help teams win championships. He is a good player to have around when the Cubs bring up players like Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson, so he can help them learn the ways of the major leagues and help them play the game the right way. This could be monumental in keeping the “Cubs Way” alive for many years to come. Byrd plays a decent center field and has good enough speed to track down balls in the deepest parts of the ballpark. Byrd is a decent hitter, shown by his .280 career average, and can fit into almost any lineup. He has a .324 OBP and, when healthy, scores a decent amount of runs. All of this is summed up very well by his WAR (wins above replacement player) of 1.4.


The cons are hard to see because, as a player, Byrd doesn’t do anything to make someone dislike him; but they are there. Byrd is not as good as advertised. He had a great year in Texas the year before the Cubs signed him and the Cubs have never seen that type of production. Byrd has lost a step in the outfield and is not a stolen base threat anymore (never really was). Byrd seemed a little off last year after getting hit in the face. This might be him adjusting to the new cheek extension of the helmet, but it could be a lingering effect. The biggest knock on Marlon Byrd is that he plays center field. Normally, this is no problem, but when you have a high end prospect that also plays centerfield, something has to give.


Marlon Byrd is one of my favorite Cubs and I would prefer that they don’t trade him, but if the right deal came along, then they almost have to trade him. If I had my way, the Cubs would trade Alfonso Soriano and move Marlon Byrd to left. This way Jackson can come up and play and Byrd can still be there to help him adjust. I also think Soriano could use a change of scenery and a DH slot would be awesome for him.

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  • ericweg

    @cubsbuzztap keep!

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  • kensing45

    I’m a big fan, love what he’s brought to the lineup but I vote trade. Stock isn’t going to be much higher than it is now, and I’m not sure how he’d fit in the long term plan. It’s a crowded outfield.

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  • Kevin Zimmermann

    Especially the way Brett Jackson is playing. They need to make room for him.

  • Nick Blazek

    I love what Byrd brings to the clubhouse. Gives amazing effort day in, day out. Plays a great CF for not being the greatest fielder, ie speed and arm. But reads the ball off the bat much like Edmonds did. But in his first year with the Cubs I believe he was one of our best hitters with RISP. Since then he has struggled. And after getting hit in the face last year he has struggled, as many people would. He unfortunately would be a trade of circumstance. You just signed Dejesus, and Soriano is near “un-tradeable”. I think Jackson’s time is now. But I only want to see him up if he is going to play every day. He still can draw some mid level prospects and maybe even a major league ready guy if nothing happens till the trade deadline. So sadly I vote trade.