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01/18/08 10:03 PM ET
Source: Byrd piques Cubs' interest
Center fielder could be traded after Hamilton's acquisition
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers may have finished putting together their team for Spring Training, but that hasn't stopped other teams from asking about their players. The Chicago Cubs, according to Major League officials, have called and asked about center fielder Marlon Byrd. The Cubs are looking for a right-handed-hitting center fielder. Byrd played center for the Rangers last season but is expected to switch to left after the acquisition of Josh Hamilton earlier this month. The Cubs would likely be willing to give up left fielder Matt Murton, who hit .281 with eight home runs and 22 RBIs in 94 games and 235 at-bats in 2007. Murton played in 144 games for the Cubs in 2006 and batted .297 with 13 home runs and 62 RBIs. He is career .326 hitter against left-handed pitchers. Right now, there have only been preliminary discussions between the two teams and no deal is imminent. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels declined to discuss specific trade rumors. Cubs manager Lou Piniella, speaking at the Cubs Convention on Friday, said, "I don't think we'll do anything, honestly, but if we do, it will be in the outfield." Byrd played in 109 games for the Rangers in 2007 and hit .307 with 10 home runs and 70 RBIs in 414 at-bats.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Carrie Muskat contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.