Finally Some Good News from the Chicago Cubs

As I’m sure you’re aware, the Cubbies are off to another terrible start in 2012, going a next to league worst 4-11, with only the 4-12 Padres playing worse.  At least the Cubs accomplished something today by trading Marlon Byrd and all but $400,000 of his $6.5 million 2012 to the Boston Red Sox for Michael Bowden and a player to be named later.

Paying that much of Byrd’s salary is a big pill to swallow, but the Cubs had to be seriously thinking out simply releasing the 34 year old Byrd, as he was hitting only 3 for 43 with a .219 OPS over 13 games in the early season.  Getting something for him at all is huge.

And the Cubs did get something: Bowden looks like he’s got a great shot to be a valuable middle reliever over the next few years.  He’s only 25 this year and pitched well three years (2009-2011) in a row at AAA Pawtucket.  He became a full time reliever last year and recorded a 2.73 ERA with 16 saves and 61 Ks in 52.2 IP as against 18 walks at AAA. Bowden also pitched pretty well in 30 relief appearances for the Red Sox spread across 2010, 2011 and the beginning of this season.

The Cubs always need pitching, and the numbers above sound like a young pitcher who could actually be a contributing part of their future for the next three to six seasons.  In addition, the Cubs get a throw-in player to be named later.

This is clearly a desperation move by the Red Sox.  They have a win-now payroll, but they’re off to a terrible start, and their outfield has been decimated by injuries to Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury.

The BoSox are in need of outfielders, but giving up anything of value for a player they probably could have picked up for nothing except a pro-rated share of the league minimum in only a week or two after the Cubs released him, seems like a mistake.

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