Full disclosure: I'm somewhat obsessed with the Nationals trading for Marlon Byrd. I shouldn't even care, but the fit is so danged obvious. The Cubs have a great center-field prospect in the upper minors; the Nationals have a Roger Bernadina-sized hole in center; Byrd makes enough to make a difference for a team that might not need him, but not enough to be prohibitive for a team that could really use him.
It makes so much sense that it makes me feel stupid each day it doesn't happen, as if I'm missing something completely obvious.
And there's still a chance! From Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:
Still on the lookout for pitching help in particular, the Cubs, according to a major-league source, inquired again about Washington Nationals left-hander John Lannan, who asked for a trade after being sent to the minors this week when he lost the Nats’ fifth-starter job to Ross Detwiler.
The article then goes on to note that Marlon Byrd is part of those discussions. Finally.
Of course, I was thinking the trade would be something more like a mid-level prospect for Byrd, and I'm not sure exactly what the Cubs would want with Lannan. He's a free agent after the 2013 season, so unless the Cubs' rebuilding plan has them contending in 2013 (which it might, I guess), Lannan probably isn't going to do much but gently nudge them away from the orbit of 75 wins.
The important part of this, though, is that the Nationals are talking Marlon Byrd. In retrospect, if they traded for Byrd instead of signed Edwin Jackson, they'd have an extra $3 million and a happy John Lannan in the rotation. They might be a better team.