The Nationals have been searching for a centerfielder forever, and Byrd could handle that probably as well as Jayson Werth could. The Braves have moved their starting left fielder Martin Prado to third base to cover for Chipper Jones, meaning that Eric Hinske and Matt Diaz will be covering left rather than serving as bench bats as God and Nature intended.
I've thought in the past that Byrd could be dealt so that Brett Jackson would start the year in center field. Many here have said Jackson's arb clock shouldn't be started on Opening Day; you could be right, and it's possible that someone like Dave Sappelt, Tony Campana or even Joe Mather (or a combination of those men plus Reed Johnson) could man center field until the Cubs feel it's safe to recall Jackson.
Personally, I think if these teams are desperate enough to want Byrd, they ought to pick up the bulk of the contract. Saving Byrd's $7 million is more important than any mid-level prospect he might bring back in trade. If a trading partner wants the Cubs to eat the contract, they'd have to send over a better player -- maybe someone the Cubs can slot into this year's bullpen.
As always, we await developments.
DeJesus RF, Barney 2B, Soriano LF, LaHair 1B, Mather 3B, Byrd CF, Amezaga SS, Castillo C, Garza P
Reds lineup was not available at posting time.
Matt Garza will start for the Cubs. Other Cubs scheduled to throw today are Frankie De La Cruz, Scott Maine, Blake Parker and Shawn Camp, who will be making his Cubs debut (wearing uniform No. 54).
Today's game is on cubs.com with Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie. If you are in the Cincinnati area, it will be on broadcast radio station WLW (700). Here is the MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Note that for spring training gameday links, you probably will not get pitch-by-pitch as during the regular season; these are unofficial links. Each play will be posted, but might not be updated until after each half-inning.
There will be one overflow thread, which will post at 4:30 pm CT. The "Recent Stories in Game Threads" box on the sidebar is where you'll find it.
Discuss amongst yourselves.