While Cubs president Theo Epstein did not receive an invitation to the Fenway Park 100-year event, he’s apparently still talking to the Red Sox. The Boston Globe‘s Nick Cafardo is reporting on Saturday that the Cubs are close to trading outfielder Marlon Byrd to Boston.
Outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, and Ryan Kalish are all currently serving time on the DL for Boston. Ellsbury’s replacement, Jason Repko, was injured while crashing into the Green Monster on Friday. Meanwhile, Byrd is not having a good start to 2012 in Chicago, batting .070 (3 for 43) through 13 games. Byrd has been rumored in trade talks with the Red Sox before, just as recently as this past offseason.
The Cubs called speedy outfielder Tony Campana up from the minors on Saturday, possibly to fill Byrd’s spot on the roster. The Red Sox surely don’t need another sub-mendoza hitters, as they already have Darnell McDonald (.083), and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (.103) struggling to get on base. Byrd, 34, might just need a change of venue, and his right-handed bat could awaken at Fenway. He is a career .362 hitter at Fenway Park in just 14 games.
Boston has two moves left if they want to turn their season around. First, bring Ryan Lavarnway up from Pawtucket, and give him a chance at producing as an everyday catcher. Keep Kelly Shoppach, and Lavarnway as your major league catchers. It can’t be any worse than what Saltalamacchia is doing, he is a bigger hole in the lineup than Jason Varitek ever was. Second, give Daisuke Matsuzaka a shot at being the closer. I know, I know, it’s a crazy thought, but it’s worth a shot. Get Aceves back into the bullpen for long relief, since the Red Sox starters are struggling, and take some pressure off Dice-k by asking him to only get 10 or 12 outs a week at most.