The Mets have shown interest in Marlon Byrd. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Mets Have Shown Interest in Marlon Byrd

Marc Craig of Newsday reports that the New York Mets have shown interest in Marlon Byrd.

The Mets have shown interest in Marlon Byrd. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

The Mets have shown interest in Marlon Byrd. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Byrd was acquired by the Pirates from the Mets in exchange for Dilson Herrera and Vic Black. He had a great season last year, but there are questions of whether he can repeat that career performance at his age. A lot of the estimates I’ve seen floating around have Byrd getting $15 M over two years. Both the Mets and Pirates have holes in the outfield, so both would be looking at him as a starting option. The Pirates have a hole in right field, although of their offensive needs, I think that is the smaller need.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea if they gave the right field job to Andrew Lambo and Jose Tabata. That gives Tabata a chance to show that his performance in the final two months of 2013 wasn’t a fluke. Tabata hit for a .312/.357/.490 line in 157 at-bats from August to the end of the season. It would also give the Pirates a chance to see what Andrew Lambo could do in the majors, after he hit 33 combined home runs in 2013 between Double-A, Triple-A, and the majors. It’s very possible that Gregory Polanco could be ready to take over in right field during the second half of the 2014 season. He has been tearing up the Dominican Winter League so far, with the pitching in the league being the equivalent of Triple-A. That means the Pirates might only have a few months to see if they have anything in Tabata or Lambo, before Polanco takes over full-time.

The Pirates could sign Byrd to a two-year deal, then trade him after the 2014 season. That would give Polanco a full year in Triple-A. But that also prevents the Pirates from finding out whether Tabata and Lambo are legit.

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Tim Williams

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 AccuScore.com, 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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  • csnumber23

    Tim, I don’t understand why you keep writing that we don’t know about Jose Tabata? We have seen what Tabata can do, which isn’t much. He has had many chances and has proven to be backup outfielder caliber. I agree we don’t know about Lambo, he hasn’t been given a shot. To say we shouldn’t sign a RF because it wouldn’t allow us to see Jose Tabata is ridiculous! The only reason I would not sign a FA to a multi year deal is to not block Polanco. The last thing I want to see come opening day is Jose Tabata in the starting lineup!

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com/author/admin Tim Williams

      To put things in perspective:

      Tabata was 24 years old last year. When Pedro Alvarez was 24, he had a .561 OPS and was sent down to Triple-A multiple times. He showed massive improvements the following years. That’s an example of why you don’t write off a player’s career at the age of 24.

      The fact is that Jose Tabata had a great finish to the 2013 season. The Pirates only need a stop gap. The great finish might just be two good months. But it doesn’t hurt to see if that’s Tabata finally figuring things out. Better than letting him figure it out elsewhere. Worst case, Tabata/Lambo struggle for four months, and Polanco takes over. The Pirates had horrible production from right field for four months in 2013 and they still made the playoffs, so it’s not like this worst case scenario would crush them.

      • csnumber23

        I see what you are saying and I am probably more down on Tabata than most. I very high on Jose when we acquired him from the Yankees and a through the minors. Then when he came up I thought we had a solid starter for years. His regression wasn’t as much the problem for me as his attitude and laziness. One thing I despise is a lazy player, that is the worst for me. I played every game and play at 110 percent and I believe all players should.

        As for his final 2 month numbers, he had a 2 to 3 week stretch where he got really hot that made the numbers. The problem is he isn’t consistent at all and can’t maintain on an every day basis.

        I do understand your thinking though as he is still quite young and could figure things out. Personally I don’t think it will be 4 months before Polonco is ready, I am thinking more like 2. If we have to go with Lambo/Tabata until he is ready, then I hope Lambo gets the bulk of the playing time. At least until we get an idea of what he can do.

        • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.brooks.581 Stephen Brooks

          Tabata isn’t alone among early-20-somethings who seem to have character/hustle issues. Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig and Barry Bonds all have shown less than maximum effort in their early careers. I do like the way Tabata responded at the end of the summer, when the Pirates promoted Lambo and traded for Byrd. We know that he responds to external pressure, which means there’s hope he may internalize that pressure and take a more professional attitude to the game.

    • http://www.facebook.com/chrishale525 Chris Hale

      you could say Tabata hasn’t been given a fair shot either He has had injury problems but He has also shown a decent approach to hitting. He gives us a different king of presence in the order when he’s performing like he was at the end of the season. There is a lot of swing and miss bats in the lineup. Sometimes Tabata just trying to hit the ball the other way for a single is is real good for this lineup, Polanco will eventually take over anyway but tabata could be a very good 4th Outfielder long term

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.brooks.581 Stephen Brooks

    And two words of warning to those who would run Tabata out of town on a rail before his 25th birthday: JOSE BAUTISTA

    • csnumber23

      Big difference between those two. Bautista always had power and Tabata never has had power. But you are correct in that we shouldn’t give up on a player that young. Note, I never said run Tabata out of town, I like him as our 4th outfielder. I just don’t want him as our starting RF.

      • https://www.facebook.com/rick.eger Rick Eger

        Bautista was a jorneyman until the Blue Jays found him..

    • https://www.facebook.com/rick.eger Rick Eger

      Great point!

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrishale525 Chris Hale

    I am hoping Tabata is a major piece to this Pirates club for a long time. We will need a strong bench behind what the Pirates future lineup with 3 gold glove caliber outfielders. McCutchen,Marte,Polanco Add that with Alen Hansen and you have the potential to steal 120 + bases a year from 4 players

    • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.brooks.581 Stephen Brooks

      Somewhere Chuck Tanner is smiling.

      • https://www.facebook.com/rick.eger Rick Eger

        Chuck was always’ smiling..

  • https://www.facebook.com/rick.eger Rick Eger

    Losing Bell’s not a great loss.

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