MESA, Ariz. -- Former Rangers outfielder Marlon Byrd was asked to participate in a little role play on Tuesday. Byrd, who was on the field taking batting practice with the Cubs before Tuesday's game with Texas, was given this scenario: If he were Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and the choice was signing him or getting Vladimir Guerrero to be the designated hitter, which would he choose?
"You get Vlad," Byrd said. "It's a no brainer. I know I'm a good player, but I'm no Vlad Guerrero. You don't pass that up."
Byrd said he didn't hear from any teams as free agency began, but once the Cubs traded Milton Bradley, talks heated up. He said there were a few preliminary discussions with the Rangers, but "not the deep discussions like I would have wanted." He added that he wouldn't want to go through free agency again, saying it's too unpredictable.
Byrd said he arrived at spring training early and got to know his teammates. He's pleased to be with the Cubs and said it's "World Series or bust" for Chicago.
"With the payroll and players we have, we're built to win," Byrd said.
He also predicted good things for the Rangers, saying they have a very good chance to win the AL West. He was complimentary of the Guerrero signing and said the bullpen could be "the best in the American League."
BTW, hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo and prospect Thomas Diamond were also on the field visiting with former teammates and coaches.
"I was thinking on the way up here that I'd get to see Marlon and Rudy," first baseman Chris Davis said. "I have a lot of respect for those guys and miss them. I know they will do well over here."