The Philadelphia Phillies will sign Marlon Byrd, according to CBS Philly. The Mike and Ike Show is reporting the signing through a source, although no terms of the deal have been announced. The Pirates were expected to pursue Byrd this off-season, as they have a hole in right field. Ken Rosenthal says it’s a two-year deal, which might have been prohibitive for the Pirates. They’ve got top prospect Gregory Polanco, who could arrive in the second half of the 2014 season. Even if he doesn’t arrive in 2014, he should be ready in 2015, and a two-year deal would block him.
The Pirates still have right field as a need, although they could go with internal options until Polanco is ready. Andrew Lambo hit 33 home runs last year between the top two levels of the minors and the majors, while Jose Tabata had a strong finish to the regular season. Going with Lambo and Tabata doesn’t sound as appealing as someone like Marlon Byrd or Carlos Beltran, but it does give the Pirates one last chance to see what they have in those two young players before Polanco arrives. Worst case, the Pirates struggle for a few months in right field, which is exactly what happened in 2013. Despite those struggles, the Pirates still made the playoffs by winning 94 games.
UPDATE 11:49 AM: According to Adam Rubin via Twitter, the deal is for two years and $16 M.