Byrd Flying East for the Summer

UPDATE #2: @Sean_McAdam: Red Sox will be responsible for only the pro-rated minimum - about $400K -- of Marlon Byrd's $6.5 million salary. Cubs eat the rest.

UPDATE: @Sean_McAdam
Baseball source: Byrd to Red Sox for Michael Bowden and PTBNL done. Cubs will pick up "most'' of Byrd's $6.5 million.

Nick Cafardo that the Cubs and Red Sox are working on a deal to send Marlon Byrd to the Red Sox. It would also make sense of the earlier roster move today where the Cubs called up Tony Campana to put Ryan Dempster on the disabled list since they still need to lose a body to make room for Randy Wells tomorrow.

Bruce Levine a left-handed reliever and a minor leaguer in the deal and it should be completed today. I'm presuming Cubs will pay a healthy portion of Byrd's roughly $6.5M salary as well, but no word on that yet. and are the 2 lefties on their current active roster. There's also , a righty, that was DFA'd last week by them.

Lineups for today's loss after the jump...

Reds Cubs
Cozart, SS
*DeJesus, RF
Stubbs, CF
Barney, 2B
*Votto, 1B
Castro, SS
Phillips, 2B
*LaHair, 1B
Ludwick, LF
*Stewart, 3B
Rolen, 3B *Clevenger, C
Heisey, RF *DeWitt, 2B
Mesoraco, C
Mather, CF
Leake, P
*Maholm, P

Keep an eye out here for more updates on the trade.


I wonder if we'll see Campana in the 9th spot as Sveum threatened us.

1-0 reds already 2b, groundout, bb, RBI single

Cubs strike back, 2 singles to start and a sac fly by LaHair

2 out offensive explosion for cubs, 5-1 cubs.

nice little play by LaHair after Casto flubs again and Stubb reaches 3-2 count on Votto with 1 out, Maholm throws over and fools him and LaHair blocks Stubbs hand with his foot for the pick-off

Torreyes a 3/3 night with a walk and 3 runs scored (2 2B, 1 3B), also an error. Ha 2/3 with a BB Rizzo, Jackson, Castillo combined 0/11, although Jackson did have 2 RBI's. Iowa loses again, F. DeLaCruz and Caridad roughed up, B. Parker has a scoreless inning and has a 0.00 ERA on the year. Amazega and E. Gonzalez with multi-hit games. B. Raley goes 6 IP/2 ER/3 K but Rhoderick gets the win, Cabrera the save. Watkins and Apodaca with multi-hit games, along with Ha. Peoria loses 7-5, Willengton Cruz roughed up again as is Bryce Shafer. Yao-Lin Wang with a scoreless inning though and maintains a 0.00 ERA. Pin-Chieh Chen with the only extra-base hit of the night and 2 RBI's. A. Kirk goes 7 IP/1 ER/3 K for the win over Tampa, G. Rohan went deep again (4 on the year)

Coleman vs. Memphis (Cardinals) Struck vs. Chattanooga (Dodgers) Jokisch vs. Tampa (Yankees) Peoria has already started, M. Jensen going vs. Great Lakes (Dodgers)

Look at you with the clever headline!

Clevenger sucks Leake on his way to Kohls

Bruce Levine tweets... Bruce Levine ‏ @ESPNBruceLevine Epstein and Hoyer just went into clubhouse --------- C'mon, can't you do better than that Brucie?

WEEI Alex Speier posts a more detailed article...
Random aside: The structure of that contract suggests the makings of a deal that, hypothetically, could help the Red Sox' payroll as calculated for luxury tax purposes. If, for instance, the Cubs sent $5.5 million to Boston to offset the outfielder's salary, then it would actually decrease the Red Sox' payroll as calculated for CBT purposes, as that sum would be subtracted from Byrd's $5 million average annual salary.

Ken Rosenthal tweets... (not really anything new, just relaying his source) Source: Byrd deal remains probable. Timing issues remain. Cubs likely to pay most of Byrd's remaining $6.5M. Bowden in play from RedSox

"Timing issues remain." Anyone have an idea what that means?

*shurg* if it's bowden...they designated him for assignment, but he hasn't been put on waivers yet...but needs to be soon. if it's BOS waiting to see if a CF'r appears elsewhere...well, good luck with that this early in the season. i assume the holdup might be michael barrett...because it's usually his fault for everything.

"Timing issues remain." --- Last flight to Boston/Logan out of Midway is 8:50 PM

Sat, 04/21/2012 - 2:19pm — QuietMan "Timing issues remain." Anyone have an idea what that means? ============================= Q-MAN: Michael Bowden was Designated for Assignment on April 15th, so he has to be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers no later than 2PM (EDT) Monday 4/23 or else the Red Sox cannot outright him to the minors (presuiming he isn't claimed) on 4/25 (it takes 48 hours for a player get through waivers). So if Bowden is the player the Cubs will be getting back for Byrd, the deal must be completed prior to 2 PM (EDT) next Wednesday, but really more like by 2 PM (EDT) Monday or else the Sox would be stuck having to release Bowden if the deal falls through. BTW, Bowden is out of minor league options, so the Cubs cannot acquire him from Boston and then option him to the minors.

Red also has an article on Byrd rumors
One candidate could be Michael Bowden, a right-hander the Red Sox designated for assignment last week. Bowden was selected by Boston in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft by Theo Epstein and Jason McLeod, both of whom currently work in the Cubs' front office.
note: Bowden was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 1st round (47th pick) of the 2005 amateur draft.

Scouting report on Bowden from sox
Bowden has an arsenal of four pitches: (1) an 88-92 mph four-seam fastball that can top out around 94 mph, (2) an average 12-6 hard breaking curve, (3) an excellent circle changeup, and (4) an 83-85 mph slider that he added in 2009, which he hopes to use as an out pitch down the line. Also developing a cutter in 2011. His main pitch - the four-seamer - has a late, heavy sinking movement, and he generally keeps it down in the zone. Bowden can also work in a two-seamer that is a few mph off of his four-seamer, with a bit more movement. His deceptive changeup sits in the low-80s, about 10 mph off of his fastball, with action moving away from lefties. His mid-70s curve is sharp and he keeps hitters at bay with it, but he definitely telegraphs it too often. Overall, Bowden has an excellent command of the zone. One aspect that should come with more experience is improved pitchability against advanced hitters. His mechanics are somewhat unconventional in that his delivery is quite compact and he doesn't pull back with a lot of torque. Relies more on arm strength than leverage. Still, he's able to maintain consistent arm action throughout his outings, so the Sox haven't messed with his delivery. Bowden is said to be a workaholic and just loves to pitch - another player who just lives and dies for baseball. Very athletic and focused and intense on the mound.

To me, Bowden is their version of Jay Jackson, a guy who, as a starter, was flyball prone, lacked an out-pitch as he worked into the upper levels (as he scrapped the plus curve he once had because of mechanical issues), and eventually moved to the pen (which is where I think Jay Jackson's best shot is). With the fastball/cutter (and tossing in a few sliders), he still has enough stuff that he could be a solid middle relief type arm I'm not sure I really buy him as a late-inning type arm (I mean, is he significantly better than say, a Blake Parker, out of the pen?). All that said, in a Marlon Byrd trade/dump, this is a fine return.

his slider never "took" fwiw...he has it, but he can't throw it hard with control at mid-80s, it works best (but not very well) in the very low 80s. also, that curve is long gone.

Hopefully there's more to this than Bowden. If Cubs are not getting salary relief, not getting a real prospect, and not ready to call up Jackson, why bother?

throw shiiiiiiiiiii at a wall, see what sticks. *shrug* bowden isn't horrible, but he's a setup guy at best...i hope they don't want to try to make him a starter again.

Bowden and an A-ball arm sounds like what they ought to expect for Byrd plus $5 mill.

the "conspiracy theorist" would say that they are going for as bad a team as possible to load up on the draft and international signing in 2013, as much as possible under the new CBA. the flip side is ... uh ... maybe they believe adding Campana gives them better defense and another top of the order option? If it wasn't for the fact that they DFA'd Bowden, much as I am not high on Bowden, Bowden for Byrd and cash to offset is probably an okay deal. A mildly intriguing, team-controlled upper level arm (plus the supposed LOOGY they are getting) for an older veteran that doesn't offer that much with the bat. Of course, that really doesn't address the "why bother" question you propose - just saying that the deal isn't that bad, and only sounds worse because Bowden was DFA'd.

at least it's the 2014 draft class that this "awesome" draft pick should materialize...if they continue down this path of suck, that is. i'm not a huge fan of the 2013 draft class. it's not weak, but there's not that "woah" up top in the top-5 that you see in some years. that said, i don't know what the 2014 draft class holds, so i could be dead wrong about it being better. also, it's april and im talking about next years draft...bbl, suicide.

Hmm ... it might not have the woah, but if we really do finish with a top 2-3 pick, if we could nab an Austin Wilson or a Karsten Whitson, that would be huge for the system. That said, a lot can change in the next year and change.

i brainfarted there and all my 2013 should be 2012...and 2014, 2013... speaking of 2012...i hope mike zunino (college catcher) lasts long enough to draft this year because he's the only guy i like in the "high end" 2012 class.

I'd be fine if they wanted to take a gamble on Giolito (if he fell there), provided the doctors said it was okay. I'd be curious about his teammate, Max Fried, although it feels a dash high at 6. I'm not the biggest fan of Appel, and I don't think Buxton is falling there. I doubt Zunino falls there either, but that'd be a nice pick if he somehow was available. I'm not sure how I feel about Gausman or Zimmer as of now. For the most part, I think we'll get a very good talent at 6.

i really don't like appel...with his stuff he should be -much- more effective. kyle zimmer gets love (and might be taken over appel) but he works deep counts a lot, though his walks rate don't show it. rich shaffer (college 3rd) i'd take over appel and zimmer...

I'm not sure this team is any worse off without Byrd than they are with Byrd. You always have Johnson, Mather, and Sappelt to step into the role that Byrd currently fills, plus Campana to play some, and BJax once we get into July or so. In the short term, any of those players could actually improve the team's chances of a winning a game or two.

Sveum on the post-game interview was asked about Campana, match him up not against power guys...will use him to start a couple of times a week and maybe more, "production is everything". asked about the Clevenger Steamer, said Soto will play tomorrow. said he doesn't talk to Castro after every one of their errors.

campana/mather out MLB.

"production is everything". asked about the Clevenger Steamer, said Soto will play tomorrow. Contradiction much?

soto, clevenger, and least they have surplus youth somewhere... =p if clevenger keeps hitting (even though he'll probably be jason kendall-ish at best) it could make the welly situation interesting. i'm already assuming this is soto's last season and he's trade bait mid-season or post-season. welly could probably start now and celvenger is making an early case he could, too.

I'm not that psyched about Clevenger's arm, and he tends to pop the ball into LF and CF, so I think his average is bound to fluctuate wildly with good and bad luck. He's nice to have around as a backup while he's earning league minimum.

pretty ready for the welly era, if/when it gets here.

"said he doesn't talk to Castro after every one of their errors." Nobody's got that kind of time on their hands.

THAT made me laugh. Hard...

Bruce Levine ‏ @ESPNBruceLevine Marlon Byrd confirms he has been traded to Boston. Deal will be announced after Boston game.

Sean McAdam ‏@Sean_McAdam Baseball source: Byrd to Red Sox for Michael Bowden and PTBNL done. Cubs will pick up "most'' of Byrd's $6.5 million. Should we start a pool for when the ptbnl happens?

humber perfect through 8 vs seattle

1 out left...oombur wants it bad...showing it.

pefecto on bad check swing call on home ump.

...and he gets it. awesome. too bad i had to sit though a NYY/BOS blowout until the 9th while this was going on...even though i pay $200 for the EI package...woo, Fox saturdays.

Len Kasper ‏ @LenKasper SHOW THE SIDE SWING!!!!!! I WANNA SEE IT!!!!! has the shot (and an overhead shot), but they didn't show it. guess they don't want to push it when SEA was almost assured of a loss anyway.

it was 9-1 bosox over yanks. Now have tying run on first, all runs in the 7th

14-9 Yanks Valentine booed getting pitchers changed

i have no idea wtf valentine was trying to do leaving aceves out there. there's not having it and giving a guy a chance to work out of it...and just plain not having it. the only thing aceves had today was velocity. hell, i have no idea why valentine has a f'n job in the bigs. i think a player could last relate him back in the 1980s.

is there a pool yet on when Valentine gets the axe?

How long is his contract? I say all star break if he currently has a 1year deal!

**How long is his contract?** 2 years.

Red Sox DFA ex-Cub Nate Spears to make room for Byrd on 40-man.

Alex Speier, WEEI updates his post...
While the identity of the player to be named is not known, a source said that it is not left-hander Andrew Miller (currently on the DL).
also he changed his info for those "luxury-taxologists":
One slightly obscure clarification: It was believed that the Sox could apply the money that the Cubs would send to them to improve their luxury tax situation, since the subsidy coming from the Cubs would exceed his average annual value. In the past, teams could end up with a lower payroll as calculated for luxury tax purposes after acquiring a player. However, according to an industry source, Major League Baseball closed that loophole in the last two years.

Do they have any guys in suits the Cubs may still want?

So we have another roster move coming, right? Bowden gets placed on the 40 man roster since he wasn't outrighted by the Red Sox. He's out of options. So he stays on the 25 man roster unless the Cubs try to outright him. Wells geting recalled to start on Sunday. So that's one too many players.

sounds about right... I imagine they can send Maine back down and replace him with Bowden. Bowden just takes Byrd's spot on the 40-man, so that shouldn't be an issue.

Shawn Camp and Bowden also seem redundant in terms of their stuff.

The Cubs have also been given a list of young pitchers by the Red Sox that they will scout. At some point in May, they will choose one pitcher to complete the trade.

interesting wording in the article. Makes me think we'll get to pick a "Chris Archer", "Marcos Mateo", or "Jose Ceda" type of guy in the low levels, a lottery ticket arm of sorts, perhaps someone not as polished yet (as bad as he's been, I wouldn't mind trying to rehab Drake Britton, but he's on the 40 and there's probably better options out there. Maybe a Cody Kukuk). Also interesting that he loosely confirmed what I had been thinking - that there's a good chance Brett Jackson won't see Wrigley until late summer, if not the fall. Considering the direction of this season, okay.

Can we have Kurcz back?

that'd be sort of ... funny. Honestly, much as I liked Kurcz, depending on the arms, I might be inclined to go for a lottery ticket type arm instead. There isn't that much ceiling with our starting pitchers in full-season ball (I mean, I am more gung-ho than most on Wells, but realistically, as of now, unless he really develops his breaking ball, it's more a mid-rotation ceiling). The next "wave" is fairly raw (Peralta/Paulino/Arias/Maples, those guys) and a lot can go wrong. Getting more options would be nice, as Kurcz's ceiling is what it is.

Guess that makes sense. I'd be happy with either a high ceiling far away prospect or low floor ready soon arm (like Kurcz). I mean, I think Boston is gonna find out that even when Byrd is playing well his value is greatly overstated by the people who like the things he says and the way he carries himself.

per Muskat...lineup Sunday: DeJesus rf, Campana cf, Castro ss, LaHair 1b, Soriano lf, Stewart 3b, Soto c, DeWitt 2b, Wells p

Nick Cough-Fart-Doo, ass-is-tant GM from mlbtr...
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe thinks that the Red Sox should put Bard in the role of closer and recall Aaron Cook from Triple-A to fill in the back of the rotation.
and then the real ownership speaks...
After last night's game, Cherington, president Larry Lucchino, and principal owner John Henry met with Bobby Valentine. Not much was said after the meeting but in a brief phone interview with Sean McAdam of, Henry said "This is not a 14-game problem, this is 41-game problem (including the Red Sox' 7-20 mark last September). Our pitching has been terrible over the last 41 regular season games."
so the cubs have a 16,000 game problem?

I tend to sort of agree with Cafardo on the first suggestion. Bard looks like he could be a decent starter, but their pen is in such bad shape now, and it's hard to see who will deal pen arms at this early stage. If Cook falters, there's always some end of the rotation guys that are available (I mean, Lannan is available, as is Wells, amongst others).

Recent comments

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  • Cubster 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Lefty Matz to Cardinals. 4/44. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    With the CBA expiring on December 1st, MLB owners and the MLBPA have jointly agreed to move the contract tender date up from Thursday December 2nd to Tuesday November 30th (that's a week from today). 

    Then (presumably) the lock-out will start the next day (Wednesday). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Not that TJS is ever necessarily a good thing, but taking a year off from catching could give Miguel Amaya a chance to work on his hitting.

    His glove & arm were probably a year ahead of his bat coming into 2021, so once he gets going again hopefully he will be able to spend a significant part of his rehab working in the cages. 

    Also, although he won't be able to throw for a while, he should be able to work on his receiving during the summer, once he is cleared to resume non-throwing baseball activities.  


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    CUBSTER: Unless you consider Erick Castillo and Tyler Payne as legit contenders to be the Cubs back-up catcher in 2022, the Cubs have no catcher who is projected to eventually play in MLB anywhere near MLB ready.


  • Cubster 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    With Amaya's 2022 year as a catcher essentially an non-factor and Robinson Chirinos and Austin Romaine again free agents, It looks like any rumors of moving Willson Contreras will go quiet. At least Chirinos could hit (for a backup catcher). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released LHP Chris Allen, 1B Shendrik Apostel, INF Matt Burch, INF Widimer Joaquin, RHP Garrett Kelly, RHP Marco Prieto,  RHP Jorge Remon, RHP Dawel Rodriguez, and OF Vance Vizcaino, so the off-season Cubs Minor League Domestic Reserve List is now at 169 (21 slots are open).  

    Six of the nine players who were released (Allen, Apostel, Joaquin, Kelly, Remon, and Vizcaino) were Rule 5 Draft-eligible, and all six had been left off the Iowa Reserve List when rosters were filed last Friday. 


  • Cubster 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    sorry, posted in other thread.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Also, Justin Steele gets a 4th minor league option in 2022 (must be used in 2022). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    W-RAT: Of all the TJS rehab types, a catcher TJS rehab is probably most similar to a pitcher's because of the laser pinpoint rifle throws a catcher needs to make to 2nd base.

    So I would expect Amaya will be able to DH by mid-season (hitting shouldn't be a problem by then), and then (hopefully) be able to throw normally in games (as a catcher) at post-season Instructs and then maybe in the AFL, with 2023 Spring Training being when he should be 100%. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Yes, except a position player only gets a maximum of 20 days on a minor league injury rehab assignment, so the 30 extra days allowed for a position player rehabbing from TJS would mean a maximum of 50 days, whereas it would be a maximum of 60 days for a pitcher (the original 30 days that pitchers get plus the additional 30 days in the form of three 10-day increments). And this also only applies to players on an MLB IL. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    DSJ: Exactly. Even though he was just acquired in a trade, the Cubs still might opt to non-tender Ramirez on 12/2, that is, as long as he goes along with the plan. I doubt that the Cubs would non-tender him if he declines (in advance) to sign a 2022 minor league contract.  


  • crunch 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    well...that's one hell of a forearm strain.


  • tim815 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Arizona Phil. Would Amaya, as a catcher, be eligible for the TJS exemption?


  • crunch 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    w.franco (rays) extend 11y/185m

    not bad for a guy with 1/10th of a season service time.


  • Wrigley Rat 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Miguel Amaya to have Tommy John surgery. Will likely miss most of next season. (I speculate that he could maybe DH a bit in the second half and throw towards August.)


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    When you add in the arb-eligibility, that's gotta make Ramirez a real contender for Hermosillo's "non-tender poster boy" title