Byrd wants Cubs to go after Dunn
August, 29, 2010
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com
CINCINNATI -- Tampering rules with heavy fines prohibit team officials from talking publicly about players on other teams they would like to obtain.
The good news is, the same rules do not apply to players.
Chicago Cubs centerfielder Marlon Byrd wants general manager Jim Hendry and Co. to sign Adam Dunn if the Washington Nationals' first baseman hits the free-agent market in November.
AP Photo/Danny MoloshokIf it were up to Marlon Byrd, Adam Dunn would be a Cub in 2011.
"Definitely. You know the guys we've lost this year," Byrd said. "Quality guys like [Ted] Lilly [traded to the Dodgers] and [Derrek Lee [traded to the Braves]. You're thinking you have to replace those guys. Our clubhouse is good, but we need some athletes out there. I have an idea who they should bring in, the type of players. I think I have an idea of who to bring in to help us win."
I asked Byrd what impact Dunn would have on the Cubs.
"He's a definite automatic. I think anyody wants a guy like that," Byrd said. "Hopefully the team he is on doesn't hold on to him so that we get a shot at him next year because thump from the left side like that just doesn't come around often. You always want a guy hitting 30 to 40 home runs a year on your team. He's certainly one of the guys I've been thinking about."
Cubs interim manager Mike Quade will rely on Hendry and his staff to decide which players they should go after, but he didn't shy away from offering an opinion on what type of player can handle the Wrigley Field experience.
"The different starting times present a challenge," Quade said. "First and foremost, talented people. You start with performance, make-up matters but it may not be the end-all and be-all. You'd love to find talent and make-up, absolutely. Most guys who are ready for the free-agent market are going to prove their worth on both ends. It just depends on what our needs are, what our financial abilities are. If I was sitting in the big seat [chairman Tom Ricketts' office] I'd have a better idea."
The Cubs needs more athleticism and left-handed run production. A legitimate lead-off man has to be a top priority for them in the offseason as well.
"It will be very exciting for a lot of people," Quade said. "In order to avoid distractions, instead of staying with us [Quade lives with one of his brothers in Chicago] they are going to stay in a hotel somewhere."