Cubs acquire RHP Bowden, PTBNL from Boston for OF Byrd, cash consideration

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Michael Bowden and a player to be named from the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Marlon Byrd and a cash consideration.

Bowden, 25, began the 2012 season on Boston’s Opening Day roster, posting no record and a 3.00 ERA (1 ER/3.0 IP) in two relief appearances before being designated for assignment on April 15.  He has a 3.91 ERA (10 ER/23.0 IP) in 16 major league appearances since the start of the 2011 campaign.  Bowden is a 2005 graduate of Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, Illinois.

In 2011, Bowden reached major league highs in several categories, including 14 appearances (tied with 2010), 17 strikeouts, 20.0 innings pitched and nine games finished.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound righthander split the last three seasons between Boston and Triple-A Pawtucket, where he spent the majority of the 2011 campaign as Pawtucket’s closer.  Bowden went 3-3 with 16 saves and a 2.73 ERA (16 ER/52.2 IP) in 41 relief outings in Triple-A last year, striking out 61 and walking only 18 in 52.2 innings.  He converted 16-of-17 saves chances and limited opponents to a .218 batting average (43-for-197).

Originally selected by the Red Sox in the supplemental round (47th overall) of the 2005 Draft, Bowden has pitched parts of the last five seasons in the majors with the Red Sox, going 2-2 with a 5.61 ERA (37 ER/59.1 IP) in 39 appearances, all but two in relief.

Byrd, 34, is batting .075 (3-for-43) with two RBI in 13 games with the Cubs this season, his third campaign since signing a three-year contract with the club prior to the 2010 campaign.  Byrd was named a National League All-Star in his first season with the Cubs, batting .293 (170-for-580) in 152 games for the club in 2010, while hitting .276 (123-for-446) in 119 games with the Cubs last year.