The Cubs are close to signing Marlon Byrd

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Chicago had been waiting to move Milton Bradley before bringing in someone else to take his place in the outfield. Now they’ve moved Bradley, and according to Dallas Morning News blogger Evan Grant, they’re close to signing Marlon Byrd.

Grant says what a lot of others have said: the Cubs were interested in both Byrd and Mike Cameron, but lost out on Cameron to the Sox while trying to peddle Bradley. Why they didn’t just go after Cameron as a first priority makes no sense to me, because he’s better than Byrd by just about every measure, most especially in terms of defense and, you know, not being a creation of the Ballpark at Arlington like Byrd is.

And with Carlos Silva in town, aren’t you gonna want someone in the outfield to chase down all of those liners off the wall?

Padres sign Aaron Loup to a one-year deal

Aaron Loup
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Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.

Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.