Eyre stays put, returns to hill

Eyre stays put, returns to hill

CHICAGO -- Scott Eyre had heard his name mentioned in the frenzy of rumors prior to Thursday's non-waivers Trade Deadline. The Cubs reliever was able to joke about it in the bullpen in Milwaukee.

"I'd watch the clock," the lefty said Friday about the 3 p.m. CT Deadline. "We made a joke in the bullpen -- '29 minutes [to go].' Then there were six minutes left, and the phone didn't ring, and it was, 'Six minutes.' You laugh at it. That's my way of dealing with the negative, I guess.

"It is a distraction, but I'm not Manny Ramirez trying to deal with being traded, or Jason Bay -- I don't know if he knew he was being traded," Eyre said. "Any of those guys being traded yesterday, the big-name guys, my distraction isn't as big as their's. My distraction is more wanting to pitch, and getting out on the field and doing good when you get out there."

The phone did ring for Eyre on Thursday, but it was to get him into the Cubs' game against the Brewers. He faced four batters, beginning with Prince Fielder, who didn't like one of the calls during his at-bat, flew out to right, and was then ejected from the game for arguing a call.

Eyre then gave up three straight singles to Ryan Braun, Gabe Kapler and Mike Cameron, and was lifted. It was the lefty's first outing since he was activated from the disabled list July 23. Eyre had been sidelined because of a strained groin.

"My velocity was good, I had a good breaking ball and sharpness on the breaking ball," Eyre said. "I just didn't get the results. It happens. If it's a centimeter farther on Cameron's bat, maybe it's not a flare to right, and maybe it's right at [Mike] Fontenot at second base. If it's another centimeter, maybe it goes to [Kosuke] Fukudome.

"The ball came out of my hands good, my mechanics were good, I felt good and I feel good today," Eyre said. "I look at it that way. I take my opportunities when I get to pitch. Maybe I'll get to pitch a lot more sometime, you never know."

Scouts watching the Cubs' games at Miller Park were asking about Eyre. There were several teams interested in a veteran left-hander for the bullpen in the final two months of the season.

Eyre was happy to stay put.

"That just means Jim [Hendry, Cubs general manager] didn't want to trade me," Eyre said about not being dealt. "I signed here for three years, and I want to play here for three years. We'll see how it works out. This is a great place to play."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.