The Red Sox are "closing in on" a trade for outfielder Marlon Byrd according to Nick Cafardo as they look for a stop-gap until the likes of Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury return from injuries.
Byrd, a career .278/.337/.416 hitter, has spent the last two years with the Chicago Cubs. In his last trip to Fenway Park, Alfredo Aceves sent him off with an accidental fastball to the head.
A decent enough bench player, Byrd unfortunately carries some $6 million on his contract--a figure which the Sox should not be paying for a player who would only be here to hit ninth for a few weeks. If they should give up anything legitimate in terms of prospects, it would be an even greater waste.
The perfect-world scenario for the Sox here is that old friend Theo Epstein will agree to eat almost all of the contract and take a bit part minor leaguer in return--perhaps Michael Bowden, who is out of options and was removed from the 25-man roster recently. If this turns out to be the reality, then Byrd can ease the injury burden. If not, then the Sox are guilty of a panic move to say the least.