News and Rumors

Marlon Byrd Claimed By Unknown Team on Waivers

Marlon Byrd Claimed By Unknown Team on Waivers

Marlon Byrd Mets

Marlon Byrd has been claimed off waivers by an unknown team.

UPDATE: The Pirates have acquired Byrd, catcher John Buck and cash considerations for infielder Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that Marlon Byrd has been claimed on waivers by an unknown team, and that the New York Mets could try and trade him. Yesterday we heard a similar report on Kendrys Morales. The difference here is that Byrd is in the NL, which means he only has to pass about 12-13 teams to get to the Pirates. Heyman says that sources suggest an NL team made the claim.

It seems that the two teams most likely to claim Byrd are the Reds and Pirates. The Reds would have priority, so the Pirates would need Cincinnati to pass on Byrd to get a shot. Byrd is only under control through the 2013 season, so he’d only be appealing to a contender.

Joel Sherman also theorizes that the Pirates could be interested in John Buck as a backup to Russell Martin.

This could be possible, although they have Tony Sanchez as the backup, and Kelly Shoppach as the third catcher. All of the catchers share the same strong ability to call a game and frame pitches. Buck hasn’t rated highly in that last regard, so it doesn’t seem like he fits in with what the Pirates go for. I think Marlon Byrd is more likely, although again, that depends on the Reds passing on him.

Byrd currently has a .285/.330/.518 line in 425 at-bats this year, with 21 homers. He has been crushing lefties, with a .980 OPS, compared to a .783 OPS against right-handers. Jose Tabata has been having a great month, with a .308/.375/.492 line in 65 at-bats. He’s not really putting up any platoon splits on the season, with a .738 OPS against right-handers, and a .757 OPS against left-handers. Byrd would be an upgrade, and the bench would be stronger with Tabata. Or, if Starling Marte misses more time, Byrd would be a strong replacement, with Tabata staying as the starter in right field.

But first the Pirates have to be the team that wins the claim on Byrd, and then the Mets would have to trade him. No word yet on that first part, but I’ll update this when the claiming team is known.

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  • Thom Kay

    Want want want. I. Want. Byrd.

  • buster09

    This would be a great piece to add to the puzzle based on what I have seen of Byrd this season. But if the Reds let him get through it will take a major miracle in my opinion.

  • Stephen Soltis

    Question: So could the Reds claim him, dicker around for the next few days “trying” to make a trade with the Mets and at the last minute decide, eh, who needs him. Therefore not allowing the Pirates or any other team for that matter a chance to trade for him?

    I guess the same could be asked about Morales, etc.?

    • jalcorn

      Yes they can, but the risk is that the Mets would just say take him on waivers. Not a big deal for a cheap contract like Byrd, potentially bigger deal for guys with big contracts.

      It may be important to note that the Mets seem serious about trading him since they have called up Matt Den Dekker already.

      • clemente21

        Mets have made a mess of this – they announced in July they were keeping Byrd for the entire season so as not to tail off like in years past. Now they shift strategy 180 degrees the day after their ace is diagnosed with a torn ulnar tendon? The Reds have them over a huge barrel: “We will trade you nobody & assume his very low remaining contract or you can pull him back and keep him. Your choice.”

        • wkkortas

          I disagree. GMs know who Byrd is–he’s a guy having a year way above his head who is a free agent next year. He wasn’t going to bring a lot in a deadline trade. If the Pirates claim him, the Mets are dealing with a desperate club–if the Bucs don’t give up something of value, they can just pull him back. Now if the Reds or someone who is just looking to block another club makes the claim, then the Mets don’t have much leverage–but the Mets could still do better now than they could have at the deadline.

          • brilemon

            I totally agree. These guys are superb negotiators for the most part (well, Littlefield… Eh), and I have to think they have a plan longer term. I also never fully believe when they make a media assertion (ie “we are keeping him for the entire season”). Placing Byrd on waivers really is a very low risk proposition for the Mets.

          • clemente21

            So…..the astute Mets thought it better to hold on to him past 7/31 when every team could bid for his services & then put him on the waiver wire 26 days later so he could fall past 13 teams to the desperate Pirates who would claim him and then pay more?

            • wkkortas

              Again, just what were the Mets going to get for Byrd at the deadline? Look, someone has to play right field for the Mets; do you think it was a smart move for the Mets to trade him for hamburger so they could play Den Dekker or Nieuwenheis?

              • wkkortas

                …and given recent events, the Mets may not be so stupid after all.

  • CalipariFan506

    Don’t think the Reds would have put a claim on him. They are pretty set on letting Ludwick hit his way back to last year’s form.

    • wkkortas

      That’s true, but claiming Byrd is a low-risk–hell, really no-risk–way to keep him out of Pittsburgh or St. Louis.

      • sammykhalifa

        Put it this way–if I were a Reds fan and “my” team let him through to the Pirates, I’d be pretty dang angry at my team’s management team.

  • Y2JGQ2

    If the Reds picked up Marlon Byrd it would almost force us to make some kind of upgrade. the best thing about the trade deadline this year was that noone upgraded, so we weren’t forced to push to keep up.

  • Stephen Soltis

    Well I did see that they have 48 hours so they technically can’t hold him until the deadline is almost over and then decide not to trade for him. Revocable waivers, does that mean that either team at any time can decide not to do anything?

    At least we will know by Thursday if anything is going to happen. Morales saga should end tomorrow sometime as well.

    Anyone taking a flyer on Josh Willingham? from MLBTR: Since being activated on Aug. 9, he’s batting just .177/.316/.371 with a pair of homers and six doubles. Willingham’s walk rate (13.4 percent) and power (.179 ISO) remain strong, but his strikeout rate is up (26.7 percent) and his average is down due to a decrease in line drives and an increase in pop-ups. He’s owed roughly $1.3MM for the remainder of the season and is owed $7MM in 2014

    • jalcorn

      The Reds cannot decide to pass if the Mets decide to let him go as a waiver claim for free.

      Anyway, I would take a good look at Willingham. I have always coveted his power bat and he would be here for 2014 at a cheap price tag. The question is – how much of his poor 2013 is injury and how much is decline? As poor as he has done his wRC+ is still 108 (above average).

      Tabata is at 112, Gaby 112, GFJ 95 and dropping, Snider 69, Presley 83.

      • Stephen Soltis

        I never looked to see if he would fit but given those numbers from GFJ, Snider and Presley, I’d consider it.

  • buster09

    jalcorn : it doesn’t appear to me he would be much help for the rest of this season,but could be worth a chance next season till Polanco is ready for MLB. Of course,when you look at GFJ,Snider and Presley’s wRC+,who knows what might work right now ?

  • Monkshot

    There is no way Byrd made it to the Pirates, the Reds would have to be sleeping at the wheel to allow that to happen. He would help this team tremendously and every contending team knows it.

    Willingham on the other hand may fall to us, and I would definitely take a hard look at that situation if I’m the Pirates. Willingham is only owed something like 7 rocks next year, and not only that, but acquiring him would allow Polonco all the seasoning he needs in AAA. I know he’s been banged up all year, but I see him as a guy who will bounce back and could help this club next year.

    Yes, next year. I’m sick of it too.

  • silversalmon586

    We got Byrd and buck on mlbtraderumors now!!!

    Not sure what we gave up

  • Lee Young


    Adam Rubin ‏@AdamRubinESPN 4m
    Source: John Buck and Marlon Byrd to Pirates.

  • buster09

    monkshot : what that saying ? Great minds think alike ? Heh !

  • buster09

    Just heard it on MLB on XM from Bowden.

  • buster09

    Dilson Herrera for sure

  • buster09

    Get Byrd there and in uniform tonight !!!!

News and Rumors

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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