Cubs Potential Offseason Targets: Randy Winn or Marlon Byrd

I had to take a break from the series last week cause of that annoying paying job that I jeopardize every day spending way too much time here on TCR. So I'm gonna double up the efforts and today we look at some more potential center field candidates. Let's start with Randy Winn.

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1998 24 TBD 109 379 338 51 94 9 9 1 17 26 12 29 69 .278 .337 .367 .704 83
1999 25 TBD 79 324 303 44 81 16 4 2 24 9 9 17 63 .267 .307 .366 .673 71
2000 26 TBD 51 190 159 28 40 5 0 1 16 6 7 26 25 .252 .362 .302 .664 72
2001 27 TBD 128 480 429 54 117 25 6 6 50 12 10 38 81 .273 .339 .401 .740 97
2002 28 TBD 152 674 607 87 181 39 9 14 75 27 8 55 109 .298 .360 .461 .821 120
2003 29 SEA 157 660 600 103 177 37 4 11 75 23 5 41 108 .295 .346 .425 .771 107
2004 30 SEA 157 703 626 84 179 34 6 14 81 21 7 53 98 .286 .346 .427 .772 103
2005 31 TOT 160 683 617 85 189 47 6 20 63 19 11 48 91 .306 .360 .499 .859 128
2005 31 SEA 102 436 386 46 106 25 1 6 37 12 6 37 53 .275 .342 .391 .733 100
2005 31 SFG 58 247 231 39 83 22 5 14 26 7 5 11 38 .359 .391 .680 1.071 173
2006 32 SFG 149 635 573 82 150 34 5 11 56 10 8 48 63 .262 .324 .396 .721 84
2007 33 SFG 155 653 593 73 178 42 1 14 65 15 3 44 85 .300 .353 .445 .798 104
2008 34 SFG 155 667 598 84 183 38 2 10 64 25 2 59 88 .306 .363 .426 .790 105
2009 35 SFG 149 597 538 65 141 33 5 2 51 16 2 47 93 .262 .318 .353 .671 75
TBD (5 yrs) 519 2047 1836 264 513 94 28 24 182 80 46 165 347 .279 .342 .400 .743 95
SFG (5 yrs) 666 2799 2533 343 735 169 18 51 262 73 20 209 367 .290 .345 .432 .776 100
SEA (3 yrs) 416 1799 1612 233 462 96 11 31 193 56 18 131 259 .287 .345 .417 .762 104
AL (8 yrs) 935 3846 3448 497 975 190 39 55 375 136 64 296 606 .283 .343 .408 .752 99
NL (5 yrs) 666 2799 2533 343 735 169 18 51 262 73 20 209 367 .290 .345 .432 .776 100
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/10/2009.

Giants Winn Singles Against the Rockies in Denver

It's gonna be hard to get excited about a guy with a .262//318/353 slash line last season.  You can't even attribute it to an unlucky BABIP as it was .314 last year. No, his power disappeared hitting just two home runs after a healthy stretch of double digits. He did hit a measly 1.4% of HR/FB which is Ryan Theriot 2007/2008 low, so maybe there's a little bounceback (7.8% in his career albeit steadily declining).

Defensively, his UZR remains excellent over the last few seasons, as does his Rate2 and the Fan's Scouting Report considers him above average. Unfortunately most of that has been in right field and with the declining stolen base numbers you have to think he may not have the range for center, even in the cozy Wrigley Field confines.

While the novelty of a reunion between the player the Rays traded to get Lou Piniella and Lou would be a neat angle for the papers, I  assume the Cubs will pass on the soon-to-be 36 year old. Despite his switch-hitting ability and potential leadoff qualities, his stolen base numbers are merely okay and he only walks 8% of the time and sees well under 4 pitches per plate appearance, so I don't think this would be much of a match for the Cubs.

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2002 24 PHI 10 36 35 2 8 2 0 1 1 0 2 1 8 .229 .250 .371 .621 66
2003 25 PHI 135 553 495 86 150 28 4 7 45 11 1 44 94 .303 .366 .418 .784 111
2004 26 PHI 106 378 346 48 79 13 2 5 33 2 2 22 68 .228 .287 .321 .608 54
2005 27 TOT 79 259 229 20 61 15 2 2 26 5 1 19 50 .266 .323 .376 .698 87
2005 27 PHI 5 15 13 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 .308 .400 .308 .708 86
2005 27 WSN 74 244 216 20 57 15 2 2 26 5 1 18 47 .264 .318 .380 .698 87
2006 28 WSN 78 228 197 28 44 8 1 5 18 3 3 22 47 .223 .317 .350 .667 76
2007 29 TEX 109 454 414 60 127 17 8 10 70 5 3 29 88 .307 .355 .459 .814 112
2008 30 TEX 122 462 403 70 120 28 4 10 53 7 2 46 62 .298 .380 .462 .842 121
2009 31 TEX 146 599 547 66 155 43 2 20 89 8 4 32 98 .283 .329 .479 .808 106
8 Seasons 785 2969 2666 380 744 154 23 60 335 41 18 215 515 .279 .340 .422 .762 99
PHI (4 yrs) 256 982 889 136 241 43 6 13 79 13 5 68 173 .271 .332 .377 .709 86
TEX (3 yrs) 377 1515 1364 196 402 88 14 40 212 20 9 107 248 .295 .352 .468 .820 112
WSN (2 yrs) 152 472 413 48 101 23 3 7 44 8 4 40 94 .245 .318 .366 .683 82
NL (5 yrs) 408 1454 1302 184 342 66 9 20 123 21 9 108 267 .263 .327 .373 .701 85
AL (3 yrs) 377 1515 1364 196 402 88 14 40 212 20 9 107 248 .295 .352 .468 .820 112
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/10/2009.

MLB: Mariners v Rangers August 25, 2007

The rumors flooded the TCR newsroom yesterday (i.e. Google Reader) with the Cubs targeting Marlon Byrd as their potential new center fielder. When I made a cursory list of guys I might look at it in this series, Byrd was on the radar as a potential 4th outfielder, but leave it to Jim Hendry and the Cubs to make him a top priority.

Anyway, Byrd was a top prospect in the Phillies system, one of the top prospects in the game at the time, but fizzled out before the Phillies gave up on him and moved him to the Nationals for Endy Chavez. It didn't go much better for him there, but then Texas gave him a shot and whether it was Rudy Jamarillo or the Ballpark or fate, he bounced back with three solid, albeit unspectacular seasons in Texas.  

2007-2009 splits (courtesy of Baseball Musings Day-by-Database and ESPN.com):

Home: 309/375/522 with a HR every 27.20 AB

Road:  281/321/414 with a HR every 45.60 AB

vs. LHP: 277/336/462 with a HR every 28.93 AB

vs. RHP: 302/359/470 with a HR every 36.89 AB

It isn't like Wrigley isn't friendly as well, but those home/road splits have to be a little worrisome. His lefty vs righty splits aren't too pronounced, actually showing a bit of a reverse split so the Cubs need not worry about matchups too much.

Now one of the things the Cubs are said to be looking for is a run-producer/RBI guy and Byrd did have some decent RBI totals the last 3 years, particularly relative to his plate appearances. That included driving in 17.9% of the runners on base when he got up in 2009 which is an above average mark along with 18.4% in 2007,  but just 12.5% in 2008, so you can see how volatile and unreliable hitting with runners on can be. 

Defensively, he had a UZR/150 of 10.9, 10.9 and -2.8 over the last three years while bouncing around all three outfield spots, so it's tough to say from that if he'll be much of an improvement in center field. BP is kinder to him in LF and RF (109 and 107) then in CF( 95) for his career using Rate2, but it all suffers from small sample size issues as does UZR. The Fan's Scouting Report seemed to consider him as just a bit above average over the last three years.

He did walk an abysmal 5.5% of the time in 2009 which isn't too far off from his 7.5% career mark...both of which are below the standards I'd like to see the Cubs employ. The Cubs pursuit of Byrd shouldn't come as too much of a shock as they tried to acquire him for Matt Murton last season but were rebuffed, so obviously they've believed in skills for awhile. I guess we'll see how this unravels, but I'd probably prefer Mike Cameron on a one year deal (if that is in the cards) over Byrd and a likely multi-year deal, but I don't think we know the market yet for either player. 


Check out Arizona Phil's Top 15 Cubs Prospects and enter our TCR Free Agent Frenzy Contest.

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Comments

Took the words out of my mouth. Rather just grab Cameron, probably cheaper and one year, and more of a known quantity.

So, ROB G, no "Bradley Pool"?

Oh well - as we are getting the hang of the new owners we can be very sure that Hendry is only looking for "value on the cheap".

And, at the same time, trying to pare back the ramifications of his own back-loaded contracts.

He could do worse than Byrd, Cameron, Castillo, I suppose. We have HAD worse, actually. Winn WAS a fit two or three years ago. Instead, Hendry found a way to pay $48MM for Fukudome.

The pressure to win is so great on the Cubs that they can't take their time with guys like Sam Fuld. In my opinion the Cubs already have their starting center fielder and lead-off man: Fuld. His defense saves at least a run every two or three games and I think he'd get on base at close to .400, and probably steal 30 bases. Give him a shot!

There's two main problems with Fuld. The first is that he's unproven. It's probably reasonable to think that he will hold his own in the bigs, but it's not a certainty. The other, larger problem, is that he cannot remain healthy. If you go into spring training with Fuld as your CF and leadoff hitter you need a pretty good backup plan.

I like Fuld, too, but I have to agree with Real Neal (shock), Fuld hasn't been able to stay healthy and in his short stints in the majors he really hasn't done anything with the bat to impress me, as much as I want him to. Breaking him in as a 5th OF would be better and if he does develop, great, but penciling him in to start on a team expected to contend doesn't make a lot of sense yet.

His defense saves at least a run every two or three games

Haha... that is funny. 1 run every 2-3 games? Really?

I think he'd get on base at close to .400

Lets see... he has never had a minor league season with an OBP close .400, and he had a career minor league OBP of .370, yet somehow he will have a major league OBP close to .400?

probably steal 30 bases.

He has never stolen more than 23 bases in a season in the minors. An oh yea... his SB% in the minors is mediocre, at best (72%).

The love for Sam Fuld is baffling. And the magical improvement that people expect Fuld to make when he becomes a full-time major league player is even more baffling.

"The love for Sam Fuld is baffling."

Anybody who doesn't love Sam Fuld needs another Old Style! He plays with gusto and he's fun to watch. Put away your stats and enjoy the game.

The perfect Cub player...play with gusto, be enjoyable to watch and suck.

Put away your stats and enjoy the game.

I enjoy the game more when it is played by good players. Sam Fuld is not a good baseball player (at least in comparison to other major league baseball players).

I have no interest in watching crappy players who play "with gusto" and are "fun to watch."

Of course Sam Fuld is crappy.
We have a miniscule sample size to decide this...where he put up .299/.409/.412. His minor league #'s are .287/.370/.407.

If he approached those numbers...say .270/.360.390...

Never mind...he's been deemed "crappy." Let's go spend some money on another 1 year stopgap guy.

Of course Sam Fuld is crappy.
We have a miniscule sample size to decide this

No we don't. We have over 2000 minor league plate appearances to decide this.

If he approached those numbers...say .270/.360.390...

I'll go out on a limb and say that a) .270/.360/.309 is not good, and b) he won't have a .750 OPS playing close to full-time.

For a major league CF, for what he would be paid...providing solid defense, and getting on base, he would not be "crappy."(.287 average with .370 OBP is crappy?)

It's not like power hitting CF's with speed and defense are growing on trees. The Cubs could pick up Mike Cameron for a year maybe, but at some point, his age will catch up, and are the Cubs going to have the money to spend on a CF?

For a cheap CF, who is good defensively, and will get on base..I'd take a chance on Fuld. They could do a hell of a lot worse.

Of course I'd rather have someone like Curtis Granderson, or Torii Hunter...but it may not be in the cards.

For a major league CF, for what he would be paid...providing solid defense, and getting on base, he would not be "crappy."(

A .750 OPS would have been 9th out of 11 qualifying MLB center fielders.

A .370 OBP would be good, but there is no indication that he could actually do that playing consistently at the major league level. He has a .356 OBP in AAA, a .369 OBP in AA, and a .377 OBP in A. See a trend? Because I sure do.

Sam Fuld is not an everyday major league player. It is as simple as that.

Is Sam Fuld my first choice? No.

Would I rather have Granderson, Ellsbury, Matt Kemp...sure?

Are the Cubs going to get someone like that? Please tell me who you think they will get?

"A .750 OPS would have been 9th out of 11 qualifying MLB center fielders"
BJ Upton: .686 OPS
Vernon Wells: .711 OPS
Willy Taveras: .559 OPS
Aaron Rowand: .738 OPS

How many at bats does it take to "qualify"

Again....to NOT cherry-pick my statements...Fuld isn't my first choice...but they could do worse. It depends on the $$ the Cubs will have available.

How many at bats does it take to "qualify"

Oops... I meant NL CF's.

NP Lowitzki...

I just don't see anyone out there who will be the Cubs CF next season, except maybe Mike Cameron. Will he be worth $7-8 million in 2010? More importantly, will the Cubs have that to spend?

On our outfield situation---I'm with Billy Williams---we've already bought high on Bradley. He apparently has a good history with Jaramillo. Why not hang in there another year, or part of a year, and see if he can't produce something. He'll never have less trading value than the 0 he has right now. It isn't as if any of the available outfielders are really going to make a difference.

The problem with this scenario is that, one, there is no way to know whether or not Jaramillo= rod marinelli. In other words, just because they bring in some stud coach doesn't mean everything is fixed, history or not. The other problem is this tiny issue of Cubs players applauding when hearing that Milton was gone. As a manager type myself, I don't want the inmates running the asylum, but I have to listen to the "team" when there is a huge personnel issue with one person. It matters in business, and it matters in baseball.

I kind of liked the idea of taking a chance on Bradley when it happened. It didn't work out. Time to move on.

Funny article from Steve Rosenbloom regarding Cubs want ad for new CFO. Must read.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/smack/

that was pretty good....

congrats to Rosenbloom for actually writing something funny...I knew he had it in him.

Byline says Paul Sullivan. I didn't think Rosenbloom had it in him, and it appears I was right.

What about Coco Crispies - coming off surgeries & should come cheap - leadoff hitter - switch-hitter - upgrade on defense & can steal bases !!! This is a no brainer - sign Reed Johnson as backup to all 3 OF spots - effort & big time defense .

well he shouldn't be a leadoff hitter, .331 career OBP, never topped .345, walks just 7.5% of the time, sees less than 4 pitches per plate appearance...stolen bases aren't all that high.

Crisp is a bench player at best...

IF a commie jerk idiot murderous puny sop like Kim Jong Il can paralyze a whole region of Asia and starve millions of Koreans, why can't Lou make MB into the comeback kid? China and Japan hated the U.S.A. and now they are our biggest trading partners, so hello! Lou: you can use that as your model for reforming MB. If the freaking Berlin Wall can go down...well, you get the idea.

today in random metaphors...

Phillips and arroyo for Bradley, vitters and cashner/samardizja? Give them the choice of fontenot/baker/Tony Thomas as well.

Wow! My thoughts exactly.

Bradley is owed $21 mil but the Reds owe Phillips $19. Throw in $2 mil and it's a wash.

The Reds want to shed the $14 they owe Arroyo, so take this 200IP a year innings eater off their hands to make this deal happen. Give them their choice of one of our lower cost 2B's or a prospect or two and a second tier pitcher like Marshall, Gorz or even Smardz to fill the holes opened on their roster.

The cost to the Cubs would be around +$6 a year for the next two years which is within reason. And the Reds would save $12 next year.

Plus, Dusty Baker really likes Milton Bradley, or so he said when he was managing the Cubs.

I thought after Dusty had lunch with Milton they decided not to go after him.
After 2005?

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/11/reds-talk-vo...

fwiw, Jocketty doesn't seem inclined that he needs to start shedding players to make his budget...at least not substantially.

So when does Fuld get to prove himself? He turns 28 this month. He hit nearly .300 in 100 abs with an OBP of over .400. He hit .400 a couple of seasons back in the AZ league. And he consistently makes doubles into outs in center. The problem with starting Fuld in center is that we really need another power bat in the lineup, preferably left handed, and that would leave only middle infield to add that player -- not much there. And since I really don't think Bradley's going anywhere, our best bet may be to save a few bucks by starting Fuld in center, do a straight L - R platoon in RF with Fuku and Bradley, and have Bradley also get in some games in LF hitting left handed against some tough righties who might give Soriano problems. The fact remains if Soto and Soriano don't improve over this year it doesn't matter who we add in center.

So, I'd just like to validate all this by responding to you, Mr. Fuld.

What in your history indicates that you would be a .400 OBP guy in the majors? The 100 plate appearances you had this year? Because, Ryan Theriot and Matt Murton both had some nice numbers in limited plate appearances in 2005, particularly in slugging %, and neither of them have been able to match them in significant plate appearances. How 'bout your AFL numbers a while back? Well, isn't that also in a fairly small sample in an hitters league against many players who are often in the AA range of development? Oh, and about those stolen base numbers, I know that you had a good season at AAA this year when it came to base stealing, and if you've turned a corner then that's great. But the last time you had a base stealing season that we might even describe as interesting was 2006 in Daytona.

On the other hand, you look like a very valuable 4th or 5th outfielder who could step into a more regular role when you get hot and/or somebody else gets hurt.

Also, I hope you prove me wrong and manage to become a .400 OBP, gold glove, 30 SB guy for the Cubs. I sincerely do. But I have high hopes for all Cubs prospects.

Get off my man crush Matt Murton!!! Lol...

2006: .297/.365/.444
2007 .281/.352/.438

Yeah...he''d have a decent LF maybe...for someone. Poor l'il fella...hahaha.

I'm a Murton fan too, actually, and I think he is valuable until he gets pay raises at the very least, but he didn't put up the slugging percentages in 2006 or 2007 that I and some others hoped for coming off of 2005. Neither did Theriot (I for one felt pretty certain Theriot wouldn't, though, while I bought into the Matt Murton 2005 slugging).

Meetings over, Hendry gets nothing done.

BUT, supposedly he's green lighted to go after Byrd before dumping Bradley. (What is this strange and stupid power Hendry has over Cubs owners?)

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2009/11/cubs-...

forget all of that. Curtis Granderson is available because the NY Post says so. Teams most interested - the Cubs and both NY teams. So you know this story has legs.

http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/hardball/yankees_cou...

NY Post is too busy making tabloid-style headlines to go find real news.

Shouldn't their lead sports story be a 2-week expose on Sammy Sosa's skin color with snappy headlines?

I think you will like this new blog, crunch. It's the companion to the book with the same name, Evaluating Baseball's Managers.

http://www.evaluatingbaseballsmanagers.com/

"The book has a basic starting point: managers are primarily managers of men and not of the game. Thus much commentary of the profession is off-the-mark because it focuses on in-game strategy instead. This is especially true of virtually all sabermetric commentary on the profession, as it is far easier to quantify things like bunts tha(n the)* ability to get the most out of players.

*he screwed this up and wrote "that" instead of "than"

the book shouldn't even have to be written, imo.

it's a mystery to me why more people aren't tuned into the fact a manager's main role is babysitting (or communicating in varying ways...various issues...to players from many walks of life how they fit into the team and their expectations).

there's a lot of talk about oldschool classic managers who's style is rounded up these days by ex-players and commentators "well, with these players today he wouldn't be able to..."

we can't go back in time to the era where players played like they need EVERY paycheck they get. we live in an era where a player making minimum wage in his first season is going to make more bank than his human peers in the rest of the world by 100s of thousands of dollars.

this whole game has changed a lot since the free agency era...which wasn't really THAT long ago.

it's no longer about making sure players don't find ways to skip curfew as a main off-field player management goal. it's no longer about how whites and blacks can meld on a team...it's about how cultures from countries a world apart from each other can meld on a team...and much more.

It's just me peering into the dugout, but Crunch's point is magnified by the 2 world series managers, also a world apart in age. Comparing payrolls, Charlie Manuel brought an average team the farthest using the laid back dad approach. Manager of the year, IMO. Meantime, Girardi was more rah-rah with expectations and accountability high. The 2 styles were entertaining to watch, and post game interviews were respectful in wins and losses. In contrast, Lou gets the resources and all we fans and Hendry get is bruises from head butting the wall in frustration, starting with Chad Guadin in the dog house and ending with the MB suspension. Hendry's biggest off season job is to light the fire under Lou, if that's possible. Start by having Lou and Soto schedule workout (Crunches?) sessions, with Z as their trainer yelling Ozzie's favorite F* word to get it out of their collective systems. ~~~

'Til I'm red in the face I'll say it. Lou IS the problem.

*"Fun!" As in "What The Fun...?"

I got lost at Charlie Manuel brought an average team...

Well they only have 3 MVP's.

hah...bourne won a GG

You may have to navigate a little at the bottom on this link to get some replays of Gonzalez's 'gold glove' plays.

http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=6313...

The good news is that Aramis Ramirez will be a perennial gold glove winner when he moves to first, if this is all it takes.

http://blogs.suntimes.com/cubs/2009/11/cubs_consid...

haven't talked to the Tigers about Granderson yet, Grabow extension, not looking at Dan Uggla

given the job to ruin Strasburg's arm...

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/11/riggleman-to...

http://espn.go.com/chicago/columns/blog/_/post/464...

thinks Grabow's a right-hander, says deal parameters are 2/7.5M at the moment, Hendry met with Rangers, Rays, Mets and Tigers last night. Ed Lynch quit as scout for Cubs.

Why pay top dollar at 2 years to a middle reliever you have the arbitration hammer over?

I wouldn't trust Hendry to manage a Radio Shack.

He's a free agent. If we offer him arbitration he can still sign somewhere else.

I'm guessing aaronb was suggesting that since he's a Type A, if Hendry offered it to him, his value on the open market would dry up. Not sure what Grabow could win in an arb case, maybe $5M?

Hard to say what he'd win in a case. Keep in mind that a team isn't necessarily going to lose a 1st round pick to sign him.

On ESPN 1000 Levine said a trade for Bradley will happen in "next 3-4 days".

sweet...about time we got brian roberts.

Given a choice between the two I'd say Randy Winn easily.

Ed Lynch quit as scout for Cubs.
---
Hendry couldn't even get that right. How come they haven't fired this assclown years ago is beyond me.

Ok, I've got dealbreakers for Winn, and Granderson:

Randy Winn in 120 ABs against Left Handed pitching:
158/184/200

Granderson in 180 ABs against Lefties:
183/245/239

Even worse is the futility of one of our overly Right Handed players:

Soriano in 98 ABs vs lefties:
184/283/286 With 30 Ks

aw, small sample size, you fickle beast...

Soriano has an .861 OPS vs lefties the last 3 years ... .829 vs. righties

Winn is .753 vs. lefties ... 757 vs righties

Granderson though is legit

.570 vs lefties and .940 vs righties

MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan sees a three-year deal worth $18-24MM for Marlon Byrd, though he notes the limited demand for center fielders.
---
no wonder Hendry is interested in Byrd...why spend 2/6 on reed johnson when you can spend 3/24 on 4th OF marlon byrd, the first two years would both be 2/6, with the difference that he can backload the 3rd year so it's at $18M.

I smell yum-yum donuts

Hendry's lost Cubster.

I imagine Jim H. feels the same way as when LBJ said he'd lost Cronkite.

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