Monday, November 22, 2010

Trading an outfielder other than Kosuke

Earlier this week the rumor that the Cubs might actually be shopping around Marlon Byrd started floating around.

This is very interesting. If the Cubs are truly looking to rebuild and are trying to build up their minor league system with prospects, this might not be a bad idea.

We already know that the Cubs are, once again, not going to pursue Adam Dunn to play first base. I say again because they took a pass on Dunn two years ago when they got Milton Bradley. Anyway, this means the Cubs will likely get some second tier guy to fill the position. We've known all along that the Cubs were not going to sign any high priced free agent unless they were able to dispose of one or more of the big salaries they currently hold on to (Kosuke, Z or Soriano). Z isn't going anywhere. Soriano is flat out untradeable. Kosuke has only one year left on his contract.

So let's get back to Marlon Byrd. In many ways, he had this best season of his career in 2010. He also only made $3 million during this past season. Byrd's salary jumps a bit in 2011 to $5.5 million (and then to $6.5 in 2012). If the Cubs do trade Byrd, they would not have to worry having to pick up a portion of his salary like in the case of Kosuke. Byrd's trade value is also as high as it has ever been. For the Cubs, the have the potential to get one, maybe two, decent prospects and in the end, all it cost them was $3 million dollars for Marlon Byrd's one season.

Are there any teams that would want to take Marlon Byrd? That's a good question. I'd think the Rangers might want to have him back. At $5.5 million next season, I'd imagine a few other teams would be willing to take him as well.

Again, this hinges on the idea that the Cubs intend to use 2011 to rebuild. Byrd was one of the few bright spots on the Cubs last season. The Wrigley fans loved him, and he appeared to love playing at Wrigley which has become somewhat rare over the last few years.

The Cubs have had a tendency of holding on to players a little too long before trying to trade them. In the case of Byrd right now, his value will likely never by higher.

What would the Cubs do in center field if Byrd is gone? Well, the two options right now aren't all that pleasant to think about. Kosuke was just terrible out there in 2009, so he needs to stay in right field. With Kosuke in right, Tyler Colvin needs a position to play. The problem with that is that Colvin had problems in the few games he played in center last year too. The Cubs might look long and hard at Brett Jackson, but he's probably a year away yet. (Much the same could have been said about Tyler Colvin one year ago.) The Cubs did just add Brandon Guyer to their 40 man roster this week, who, offensively, had a great season this year at AA Tennessee. They may be considering giving this kid a shot as well. I think he's more of a corner outfielder, but at 24 years old, he might be ready.

Sam Fuld is technically still on the I suppose that's another option.

Anyway, keep an eye out for some moves to finally happen now that football is over at Wrigley. The Cubs have been extremely quiet so far this off-season. They are due to make some sort of move...right?