Thursday, December 31, 2009

Byrd Flies North to Wrigley

Outfielder Marlon Byrd has signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Cubs worth $15 million.

Byrd is coming off the best season of his eight year big league career. He hit .283 with 20 home runs and 89 RBI with the Texas Rangers in 2009. Prior to '09, Byrd had never hit more than 10 home runs or driven in 70 runs in a season.

One must legitimately wonder if Byrd's numbers in '09 are an aberration. On the other hand it is worth noting that Rudy Jaramillo is the Cubs new hitting coach. Jaramillo helped improve Byrd's offense while he was the hitting coach with the Rangers. So there should be some continuity there. But even if Byrd's numbers do slip in 2010 he will be an improvement over Kosuke Fukudome in center field. Fukudome is likely to play right field in 2010 with the departure of Milton Bradley.

Byrd began his MLB career with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2002. He was traded to the Washington Nationals during the 2005 season and signed with the Rangers as a free agent prior to the 2007 season.

I think Byrd is a good addition to the Cubs. But I suspect they have only begun signing free agents. They are in dire need of a closer. My guess is that they will try to sign Jose Valverde to fill that role.

1 comment:

Maroussia said...

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