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Red Sox acquire Byrd from Cubs to help outfield

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- Looking to shore up their outfield, which has been hit with injuries already this season, the Boston Red Sox acquired Marlon Byrd from the Chicago Cubs on Saturday in exchange for right-hander Michael Bowden and a player to be named.

Byrd, who will be 35 in August, has played parts of 11 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals in addition to the Cubs. Byrd, who has a career average of .278, can play all three outfield positions but has played the majority of his games in center field.

Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was placed on the disabled list with a subluxated shoulder suffered in the April 13 game against the Rays. Left fielder Carl Crawford is making his way back from left wrist surgery in January and elbow soreness. Outfielder Jason Repko, who was called up earlier this week, suffered a slight shoulder separation crashing into the wall during Friday's game against the Yankees.

Byrd has gotten off to a rough offensive start this season, batting just .070 (3-for-43) with two RBI and a run scored in 13 games.

"He's been a good major league center fielder for a long time and he's off to a tough start," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. "But our hope is that (with) a change of scenery, maybe a new environment, maybe we can get him going and help us and give (manager) Bobby (Valentine) another option out in the outfield. With Ellsbury out and Crawford still coming back, we felt like there was a need to add to the outfield. Hopefully he can help us."

Utility player Nate Spears was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
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