With trade rumors involving center fielder Marlon Byrd picking up over the past 24 hours, now figures to be the prime time to look at his profile for the 2012 season. After all, Byrd may not be with the Cubs for too much longer.
Marlon Byrd has turned into a leader for the Cubs organization on and off the field. Which is why one could suggest that the Cubs would be reluctant to move their starting center fielder. However, reports over the past couple of days would seem to suggest that the Cubs’ front office is considering trading Byrd. Not for any fault of Byrd’s. The two teams the Cubs are currently in discussions about a potential Byrd are the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves. The benefits to the Cubs trading Byrd would be two fold. The first being that the trade would open up a spot for top prospect Brett Jackson to start every day in center field. And the other being that President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer would once again succeed in turning a short term asset into a long-term asset.
Byrd fell off from his career averages during the 2011 season. In 446 at bats with the Cubs last season. Byrd hit .276/.324.395/.719. A noticeable decline from his .281/.339/.420/.759 career hitting line. However, 34 year old Byrd is one year removed from being a National League all-star. Byrd is still capable of being an everyday center fielder, but the veteran likely will bring more value to a contending such as the Nationals or Braves rather than playing for the Cubs who likely will not contend for a post-season spot in 2012. Byrd is scheduled to earn $6.5 million during the 2012 season.
Byrd may not figure into the Cubs’ 2012 plans. Reason being Byrd may not be on the team when the 2012 season starts. If the rumors are true and the Cubs have been discussing a Byrd trade with the Braves and Nationals, it is possible that the two sides could come to an agreement on a trade before Opening Day. If that is the case, Byrd would figure into the Cubs plan by improving their pitching depth. The Cubs are reportedly looking to trade Byrd from pitching depth, and made at least one offer to the Nationals for a pitcher. One could wonder if the Cubs and Nationals are working on a trade that includes Byrd and Nationals’ starting pitcher John Lannan. But that thought does not appear to be too logical as the Cubs already have a surplus of starting pitchers. Instead, the Cubs may target Nationals’ reliever Henry Rodriguez in any trade that includes Byrd.
Byrd is likely not the word for the Cubs in 2012, as the team looks to trade the veteran center fielder and make room for top prospect Brett Jackson on the 25 man roster.