The Cubs go after Marlon Byrd

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Ken Rosenthal — writing on a newly-designed FOX website that puts one in mind of the New York Post, for whatever that’s worth — says that the Cubs are going strong after Marlon Byrd now that their primary outfield target Mike Cameron has been snapped up.

Worth noting that there wasn’t a single peep about the Cubs making any overtures towards Cameron in the past few weeks, so saying that the Cubs “wanted Cameron” is kind of like me saying I want Olivia Munn. I mean, maybe it’s true in the literal sense, but it’s kind of meaningless given the lack of action or even the possibility of something happening.

In any event, there are serious concerns that Byrd is a creature of the Ballpark at Arlington, and his splits bear that out (2009, 2008, 2007).

The real question: are the Cubs really going to sign a Texas Rangers free agent — represented by Seth Levinson no less — for the second winter in a row?

Shawn Tolleson becomes a free agent

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The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.

Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.

Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.

Indians strongly considering starting Carlos Santana in left field sans DH

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against Marco Estrada #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday,’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.

Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.