Marc Craig of Newsday reports that the New York Mets have shown interest in Marlon Byrd.
Also, hearing Mets touched base with Marlon Byrd’s people in the last few days.
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) November 11, 2013
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.