The Cubs are on the search for more veterans and added power to their lineup, and an under the radar option could be outfielder Marlon Byrd.
Byrd has played for a multitude of teams around the league, one of which being the Cubs for three seasons: 2010 through 2012.
Byrd is currently in a terrific contract situation. He signed with the Philadelphia Phillies to a two-year, $16 million contract last season. Philadelphia though is seeking to trade him now that the team is ready to rebuild for the upcoming 2015 season. Therefore, Byrd has just one-year worth eight million remaining on his deal.
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Of course what’s standing in the veteran’s way is his age. At age 37, Byrd has just a few seasons left in the tank and would most likely prefer an already title contending team over a young ball club that will not be ready to truly compete until the next few years.
Byrd is also one of the more inconsistent hitters in the league. There were many instances throughout the year in which he went through cold streaks and struck out at least once in nearly every game. He compiled a career-high 185 strikeouts last season.
However, he still continually displays outstanding power at the plate.
In 154 games with the Phillies last season, Byrd hit .264 with a career-high 25 home runs and an impressive 85 RBI. He also posted a .312 on-base percentage and .445 slugging percentage.
In addition, Byrd known for his phenomenal glove. Although he lacks speed, he is able to cover incredible range and locates the ball immediately. He finished the previous season with a .982 fielding percentage and 329 putouts in 341 total chances. He also has experience in every outfield position.
If the Cubs consider bringing Byrd to Chicago, the team’s outfield defense will immediately become upgraded and the lineup will be enhanced with a home run hitter.