Phillies to Sign Marlon Byrd to a Two-Year Deal

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.

Tim Williams

Author: 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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