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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  • deacs

    I expected this and I’m ok with it. Any news on 1B?

    • https://profiles.google.com/104233545515824929146 The magic Momen

      How much is Morneau looking to get? I rather have him than Loney at this point. Also, a Scott Kazmir or even a fly on Johan Santana for cheap would be nice.

  • http://wkkortas.wordpress.com wkkortas

    I’m glad to see Byrd cash in on the heels of a fine season, but I’m not broken-hearted to see him move on; at this time last year, Byrd was all but out of baseball, and regression from a guy in his late 30s would be no surprise. Good to see the Phillies continue with their youth movement.

  • piratemike

    Well, if they go with Tabata and Lambo at least it frees up money for a starting pitcher or/ and a 1b.

    • Bucco_Joe

      You really believe that? Boy where do I get some of that Koolaid to drink. If it really was a 2 yr/16 mil deal to re-sign Byrd then this organization has blown in again. He was the perfect bridge unitil Polanco was ready, instead will will end up with Tabata and Lambo. A singles hitter in a platoon with a Class AAAA player. Great move Nutting, don’t stay up too late counting your profits from this baseball team.

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

        It’s a little early to call Lambo a Quad-A player, isn’t it? He’s still only 25, has just 30 AB in the majors and less than a full season at AAA.

        And for the record, Tabata, also still 25, upped his ISO to .147 after 3 years hovering around .100. That’s better than Delmon Young, Allen Craig and Dexter Fowler. And it’s better than Marlon Byrd’s career ISO of .145.

        And you can get KoolAid at your local 7-Eleven or Get-Go.

      • sammykhalifa

        Just remember that in Pennsylvania there’s no so such thing as at “perfect bridge.” They’re all old, over-used, and “Structurally Deficient” which I assume is what you mean here.

      • http://wkkortas.wordpress.com wkkortas

        Are you really playing the “Nutting is too cheap card” after all the money spent on the draft, the Cutch extension, the pickup of Wandy (which turned his mutual option into a player option), and so on and so forth? Can anyone really still believe that tired old chestnut?

        • NorCal Buc

          wkh ~ Great! – “Can anyone really still believe that tired old chestnut?”

      • BallHeadWonder

        Come on Bucco Joe…..You just can’t give a 36 yr old Journeyman 16 million over 2 years!! Our pockets ain’t that deep!! Plus we made the playoffs with a Platoon last year!!! I really like Lambo. Once he gets comfortable, this dude is going to be great for us!! I am perfectly comfortable with this!!

      • JollyRogerFan

        Bucco_Joe

        I would rather have Koolaid than the bucket of dill pickel juice that you seem to be drinking.

      • buster09

        You wanted to pay ” perfect bridge ” $ 16 million for 2 years and an option for a third season ( at age 39 ) ? How about the Roberto Clemente Bridge ? Would you be interested in a deal for that ? I can give you a real deal…honest . As for ” Koolaid “,seriously,you can’t come up with anything better than that tired as hell cliche ?

      • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.a.capernicus Nick A. Capernicus

        lol nutting is the gm

      • SteveW

        Thank God NH isn’t dumb enough to give an aging OF $16M for two years. He’s had one year in his career where he was worth that kind of money. The Phils will regret it – as they have regretted many of their contracts with aging players. It would not be shocking at all if the Bucs get better numbers out of their 2014 RF’s than the Phils get from Byrd.

  • stickyweb

    It would have been nice to keep Byrd on board, but really other teams have more pressing needs for OF than the Bucs do (with Tabby/Lambo until Polanco arrives) so it stands to reason that they would pay more for Byrd than the Pirates. Thanks for your contribution Marlon, you certainly made the stretch run more enjoyable. And best of luck in Philly (except when they play the Bucs).

  • Andrew

    Phillies gain almost a win if Byrd plays zero run saved defense at either corner spot. I guess the potential to be Pirates team MVP based on being biggest upgrade from previous year (see Russell Martin) did not sway Byrd.

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

    Reports are it was 2 years, $16M.

    I’m assuming NH is working toward an Opening Day payroll in the $80M range, which means he’s got about $17M to address 1B, SP, RF and (backup?) SS. If Byrd had wanted to come back on a more team-friendly deal, he might have fit, but at $8M NH’s options for upgrading the other positions would have been severely limited.

    I think the Bucs will make it happen with Loney at $8M, Burnett or Josh Johnson at $10-$12M, re-sign Barmes for $1.5M, stand pat at RF (maybe bring in an NRI like Grady Sizemore) and trade Melancon for salary relief/prospects to reach that number.

    • deacs

      I’d be happy with that. Loney would be a good fit. Barmes on the cheap to play back up SS (someones going to blast me for that) and Burnett or Johnson. Maybe a couple ML free agents. I don’t think they need much besides 1B.

      If they move a Melancon or Grilli then maybe they get a bullpen arm. I remember the days when you had about 4 building blocks and 21 unknowns.

      • Y2JGQ2

        I won’t blast you, but i will say again that Hurdle is too emotionally involved with Barmes to use him as a backup……that’s why you can’t sign him, but because he isn’t a good backup

    • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.a.capernicus Nick A. Capernicus

      melancon salary relief? hes due around 2-3 mil….

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

        Probably 3, and admittedly the delta between that 3 and a minimum player is only 2.5 – but (a) a budget is a budget, whether you blow it by 2.5 or 10; (b) as long as NH can exploit rival GMs’ overvaluation of late inning relievers, he should; and (c) that extra 2.5 gets you more flexibility in a mid-season trade.

        Anyway the premise is that NH is working with an 80M budget, and the truth is it could be 75, or 85, or anything in between, so it’s just a thought exercise until we know more.

        • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.a.capernicus Nick A. Capernicus

          its been said numerous times he is aiming for 90 mil. idk how many sources and pp articles have said this. Also he brought melancon to pitch here cheap for years not flip the next year. He trades guys who’s contracts are expiring…Grill

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

            1. Has anyone from the Pirates FO actually cited the $90M figure, or is it just a bunch of guys like us saying it?

            2. He also trades guys whose contracts aren’t expiring. Brad Lincoln, Javier Lopez, Sean Burnett, Tom Gorzelanny and John Grabow were all traded with multiple years of control remaining.

            • https://www.facebook.com/marty.leap Marty

              Hey, chief. First off, industry sources have said that they expect the Pirates’ payroll to be $90-100 million this year. Also, those other relievers that were traded. Lopez and Grabow were traded when the Priates’ were in no position to compete, and used to acquire prospects. Gorzo was still a starter when the Bucs sent him and Grabow to the Cubs. Burnett was flipped for Milledge, who was at the time a top prospect, and Hanrahan who came with years of control. So it was basically who they liked more between Burnett and Hanrahan. Lincoln was a guy who had two good months, and other than that had not been very good in the Majors. Traded him for a potential everyday RFer is a no brainer.

            • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.a.capernicus Nick A. Capernicus

              Pretty march marty hit the nail on the head. Also what make your more of an expert to day what nh’s budget is compared to actual mlb insiders. Also don’t ever compare rebuilding years to winning years

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

                If you actually read the post I wrote, you’d see clearly that I don’t claim to be an expert. I laid out my logic, and that’s based on where the payroll is, what needs have to be filled and the signals coming from the FPO so far. Feel free to read the last post below for more. Now, just as a favor, since you’ve mentioned these MLB insiders more than once, could you please just cite one example. Just one. Someone in management, Buster Olney, Peter Gammons, someone with access who actually has the basis to make the claim and not someone speculating, just as I am.

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

            BTW, you contradict yourself just a few posts below this – he won’t trade Melancon because he’s got years remaining, but you are calling for him to trade Wilson who isn’t even eligible for arbitration yet. So which is it?

  • deacs

    I was thinking more selling high but I’d be very happy with a Grilli, Melancon, Watson, Wilson back end of the bullpen. No trade and you keep your depth. And if they do make a move teams overpay………much like the GM of the year in Boston for example.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.a.capernicus Nick A. Capernicus

      in my opinion i would possibly sell high on wilson. The only reason i say this is because teams may view him as a hard throwing lefty, potential to start, and young and controllable. The only way i trade him is for the right return obviously dont trade him just to do so. The other reason i say this is because 2 seasons ago we didnt sell high on hughes and well look how he was this year. If there is one thing i trust NH to do it is to build a pen

  • csnumber23

    The Phils will never learn. Just keep adding old players LOL. I would have liked to see Byrd back for 1 year but I didn’t want him blocking Polanco. I think Polonco will be ready by June and until then maybe Lambo will provide some pop against RHP and Tabata some avg against LHP.

    Now I expect to see a 1B signing and SP signing. For those that want to see us trade a reliever, I would not. We had the best bullpen in the league last year and the only one I would trade of the core is an aging Grilli. Unless some great offer was made that couldn’t be turned down. I would keep Melancon and Wilson.

  • https://www.facebook.com/marty.leap Marty

    Just Tabata in RF until Polanco is ready. Please, no Lambo. Tabata was the Pirates’ best hitter not named McCutchen over the season’s final two months last year. Let him play. Don’t have an AAAA guy cut into his playing time.

    • buster09

      I guess you can tell who is a AAAA player before you even see him get 100 MLB at bats ? If so,you are probably in the wrong job ” Marty ” !

      • https://www.facebook.com/marty.leap Marty

        I saw him play many times in Altoona, looked utterly lost every time. One good season in the minors doesn’t change that. He’s Steve Pearce 2.0.

  • piraddict

    I’d like to see Wilson upgraded to a starting role. The Pirates only have one year of Liriano assured (if they don’t extend him); one year of Wandy (and even a few months of Wandy is very questionable); and great uncertainty about which Locke will show up (1H Locke or 2H Locke), in Spring training. Given the Cards and Reds lineup and the shape of PNC having LHSP is a real need going forward. Cole, Taillon, Kingham, Glasnow, Heredia are all RHP. With due respect to Joely Rodriguez the Pirates need another LHSP in the five man rotation. Wilson ought to be given a shot in Spring training to prove whether he could be the man.

    • Y2JGQ2

      I’d like to see it as well- but i don’t expect it. maybe in 2014

    • JollyRogerFan

      I agree. I would move Wilson back to a starter and sell high on Liriano and obtain a good LH starter prospect who is within a year or less of starting in the major leagues and/or a really good 3B prospect who can take over for Pedro soon. The Pirates have some good LH prospects but they are mostly at the lower levels and will likely need at least 2-3 years before they are major league ready. The Pirates have no LT solutions at 3B in their system. We will all be griping how Pedro can’t hit or strikes out too much come next April and May.

  • Y2JGQ2

    i mean 2015

  • jg941

    Re: a couple comments above – the Bucs’ payroll this year was $75 million.

    With all of the “bonus”, unbudgeted revenue streams from increased attendance, playoffs and increased merchandise sales, along with an entirely new influx of TV revenue for 2014 (and in a market where other teams will be playing with that newfound money), it would be entirely unacceptable for the Pirates’ 2014 payroll to increase to only $80 million.

    There’s really no financial justification for it to be set that low.

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

      The Opening Day payroll was about $66M. $75M is where they ended up with the Byrd and Morneau acquisitions, bonus payments and prorated ML salaries for Cole, Mercer, Mazzaro, et al when the Bucs jettisoned Inge, Jonathan Sanchez, JMac, Leroux, etc – you still have to pay their salaries – and others (Wandy, Karstens) went down with injury.

      Apples to apples, an $80M Opening Day payroll would be a +$14M increase, not $5M. If you figure the same maneuvering from April to September, with a key acquisition or two, the ending payroll would be closer to $90M. And like I said above, the Opening Day number could be $85M, not $80M – in any case, it’s a perfectly defensible increase that puts Pittsburgh in line with other midwest/rust belt teams Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Cleveland, etc.

      Oh, and increased merchandise sales do not go to the Pirates’ bottom line – sales go to the league and are re-distributed to all 30 teams, so the Yankees benefit as much as the Bucs do when people buy Toro jerseys.

  • stickyweb

    Can we please issue a moratorium on calling Lambo a AAAA player? I don’t know what the actual definition of a AAAA player is, but obviously nobody else using it for Lambo knows either. If you want to write off Lambo at this point, then you also need to write of Mercer and Tony Sanchez, who have or had less MLB success & experience at the same age as Lambo. Oh and Lambo had better minor league numbers. Oh and you would have had to write Garrett Jones off 4 or 5 years ago too (and please don’t start the Garrett Jones sucks responses, he had 4 solid MLB seasons before this year). Oh and maybe Pedro too after his abysmal age 24 season after a promising half season the year before.

    The point is that it’s ridiculous to write Lambo off as AAAA after a tremendously successful age 24 season and 30 MLB ABs. And a small market team would actually be crazy to not give him a shot at either 1B or RF with the other options that are available.

    • BallHeadWonder

      AMEN!!!!!!!!!

  • CalipariFan506

    Anybody upset by this I’ll bet you $1,000 that Polanco has a higher WAR than Byrd in 2015 and he’ll cost over $7M less too.

  • https://www.facebook.com/jared.fitzgerald.90 Jared Fitzgerald

    Here’s the problem with the Polanco discussion, as I emailed to Tim a couple weeks ago:

    He is putting on a show in the Dominican League after already having a pretty successful year. That following a tremendous year last year. My only area of disagreement/discussion with Polanco is his timeline.

    I see many insinuations and direct discussion from you and your staff and many of those commenting on your articles about Polanco being ready by mid-season 2014 or during the 2014 season. I just do not see that and certainly hope the Pirates do not push for that when they could get a year of Marlon Byrd in RF (signed on a 2-year contract) and then trade Byrd the following year when Polanco is ready, if he lives up to this year’s numbers he could still fetch a return when Polanco is ready. I know you believe that Polanco can/will be better than McCutchen, but for comparison’s sake I want to analyze the minor league careers of McCutchen and Marte

    I will start off with McCutchen because I think this comparison works best considering the tools that the two players had/have as prospects. Andrew McCutchen came into the organization as a first-round pick with a lot of promise and athletic ability. At 18 years of age McCutchen was in the GCL and NYP and was hitting for a .850 OPS (.852 OPS actually) albeit in only about 200 at bats. At the age of 19, ‘Cutch was in the SAL league and hit well enough over 114 games and approximately 450 at bats to earn a short end-of-the-season call up to Altoona. In Altoona he ended the year very strong, hitting better there in the very short time he was there than he did in Hickory, putting up a .854 OPS in his 78 AA at bats. At the age of 20 McCutchen had a similar year as the year before, spending 118 games at AA and then getting promoted to AAA for 67 at bats at the end of that season. The season that McCutchen was 20 years old was not a great season for him. It was his lowest season in OPS during his minor league career, ending with a .717 OPS. He had a little more success at AAA in the small sample size than he had at AA that year, hitting .765 OPS in those 67 at bats. He hit for a .770 OPS the following season, a full-season in AAA, at the age of 21. This time, however, he did not get a promotion, and frankly he had not earned it the last two years. Playing in the upper level of the minor leagues is tough, and McCutchen was experiencing that. So at the age of 22, McCutchen headed back to AAA to start the 2009 season, staying there for 49 games, around 200 at bats, before being called up to the big leagues for the finall 108 games of the season. That stint in AAA? He hit for a .853 OPS. So total, McCutchen had 1304 at bats in the upper minors (AA-AAA) before becoming a full-time MLB player, all before he had turned 23.

    Marte’s case is even easier to look at really, and so I will be more brief. Marte got his first upper minor league at bat at the age of 22 in 2011 when he stayed the full season at AA getting 536 at bats and hitting for a very nice .870 OPS. The following year at age 23 Marte received 388 at bats in AAA before being called up to the major leagues for his final 167 at bats that year. Marte hit really well in AAA, putting up a .847 OPS in those 388 at bats, but then struggled (which is only natural) in his first trip to the majors as he hit for only a .257 average and a .737 OPS. Overall, then, Marte received 924 at bats in the upper minors before he was called up to the majors where he struggled prior to finding his success this year.

    Enter, Gregory Polanco, who I admit is likely to be every bit as good as Marte and possibly McCutchen and has super star written all over him. At the age of 20 Gregory Polanco was blowing up the SAL as he hit for a ridiculous .910 OPS and having almost as many extra base-hits as he did strikeouts. Impressive. McCutchen was a year younger, although more experienced coming into the organization that Polanco, when he put up impressive, albeit not as impressive as Polanco, numbers in the SAL. Polanco is justifiably promoted to the FSL, a cautious approach with Polanco that seemed to work as he hit for a .836 OPS in his 218 FSL at bats. Polanco is then promoted to AA Altoona where he puts up a, pedestrian for him, .762 OPS in his 243 AA at bats. At the end of the season, as a simple introduction to the level, the Pirates promoted Polanco to AAA where he played in 2 games and only having 9 at bats. In AAA? Well, it was only 9 at bats so what can you really want? Polanco puts up a .444 OPS. At the age of 21, Polanco has a total of 252 upper-level (AA-AAA) at bats or, if you cant the FSL as an upper-league now, 470 total A+-AAA at bats. Depending on how you evaluate the levels Polanco, for simplicity sake I will include the A+ at bats as upper-level MiLB at bats, had 470 upper-minor league at bats and posted a .791 OPS. At the age of 21 McCutchen was putting up that kind of OPS in a full-season of AAA.

    I make these comparisons simply to say this: Gregory Polanco, as good as he is and as good as he will, hopefully, be is not ready nor should he be rushed to be ready for the major leagues. As he currently sits he has half as many at bats as Marte had in the upper-minors or one-third of the at bats that McCutchen had in the upper-minors. Likewise, his success thus far in the AA-AAA level does not demonstrate a readiness for major league promotion. Marte was hitting for an .870 OPS in AA and .847 OPS in AAA before being a mid-season call-up for the Pirates. In his 924 upper-minor league at bats he was, essentially, hitting for a full .08-.1 OPS better than Polanco has in his limited at bats. Truth be told, however, it is McCutchen, not Marte, whom Polanco should be compared to. It is McCutchen’s minor league profile that Polanco so fittingly compares to. Polanco could and would do well by having a full season at AAA and like McCutchen depending on how he does at AAA he can either compete for the starting RF job in 2015 or come up after 30-50 AAA games in 2015. At this point looking at Polanco to be a help in 2014 is simply missing the developmental steps that he needs to take. McCutchen is a better player for having to have the number of at bats he did in the upper-level minor leagues. He is a better player for having the full season at AAA and for having the 49 games in AAA in 2009. And Polanco will be a better player if he has a full season in AAA in 2014 as well.

    Right now we are looking at a player who at the advanced levels of the minor leagues is only a .791 OPS player and anticipating the fall-off to the major leagues that is barely better than what Jose Tabata did this season in limited time and significantly worse than the numbers Marlon Byrd put up. Now, I am not trying to say that Polanco will be Tabata or will be significantly worse over his career than Byrd. I am simply speaking about the upcoming year, 2014. At this point in Gregory Polanco’s development there is no reason to put any 2014 pressure on him to produce for the ML club. Furthermore, it seems to be in his best interest to give him all of 2014 in AAA even if he does put up good numbers at the beginning of the year so that he had the appropriate time to develop. The Pirates are best off, if his 2013 numbers hold true for his production in 2014, to keep Marlon Byrd on a 2 year deal with Jose Tabata as the 4th outfielder, in case of injury and spelling the starters, and dealing Marlon Byrd when Polanco has had the opportunity to fully develop and come up full-time in 2015.

    The Pirates missed that opportunity today…and there is not a lot on the open market this winter that would replace Byrd’s numbers from last year either from the OF or 1B position.

    • csnumber23

      Wow you wrote a book. Anyway, I disagree with your analyses. I think Polonco is ready NOW!! Have you seen the kid play??? I’ll bet you just looked at his numbers. Anyway with his patience and plate coverage he will not be over matched. Take a look at an even younger Manny Machado’s OPS at AA before getting the call to the majors. He was ready without great numbers and without AAA experience. I feel the same about Polonco!!

      • Jared

        I have seen him play. Multiple times in spring training and at Altoona…and I have agreed that he’s a great talent. He’s not ready, though. I can go on and on with examples…McCutchen, Marte, Jay Bruce (see below), Adam Jones, Joey Votto…again I can go on and on. You bring up Machado and could also bring up Mike Trout…the difference is that these were top 10 prospects in all of baseball and were putting up numbers in upper minors at extremely young age. Machado was putting up a .789 OPS at age 19 in AA compared to Polanco’s .761 OPS at age 21. I would certainly hope we wouldn’t be comparing Polanco to Mike Trout…the more apt comparisons are the ones I have made: McCutchen, Marte, Bruce, and Jones…all of whom had more at bats in the upper minors, all of whom had better numbers in the upper minors at a similar or younger age.

        • Andrew

          While I sympathize with the idea that some are too bullish on Polanco and his time frame, given the failure rate of even top prospects. However the Pirates aren’t a finishing school. Their goal is to win baseball games and if Gregory Polanco can assist in that in 2014 then he should be given a spot on the major league roster, why not 200 ABs similar to Marte’s 2012?

          Obviously, this discussion hinges on his MiLB performance in 2014. However I think your argument is somewhat weak. Prospect promotion is not a science and sighting OPS to judge the quality of a hitter overlooks a lot of over information. Polanco had an equal K% and BB% rate in AA of 12.6%, additionally he has ISO numbers in A+ and AA comparable to Marte while maintaining these better K% and BB% numbers. These are not large samples so scouting is also helpful it is not just Tim who is high on Polanco I other writers rank him highly.

          Come July 2014 if Polanco is hitting well in AAA, what more does he have to prove. Also why commit two years to a player you only want for one, a player who is 36 with declining contact rates and much of his value linked to a career high ISO.

          • Jared

            Yeah, Byrd might not have been the right player to mention in the above discussion, except that he was sort the “incumbent.”

            As to the rest…I completely agree that the Pirates aren’t a finishing school and that they are a ML club who need to win baseball games…that’s why I disagree with the approach of bringing Polanco up too quickly and transitioning the ML club into a finishing school. Also, it is no coincidence that many/most top prospects have much more upper-level minor experience than Polanco does…with better numbers as well. I think people are way too quick to say “he’s ready to roll” or “with Polanco waiting in the wings”…the simple fact is that as of yet he has not proven at a high level to put up numbers warranting that type of discussion. You’re right, if he’s blowing up AAA in July then you have that discussion…he’d need a much better than .761 OPS to get to that point though. Right now Polanco is a top prospect who will be in AAA next year and could well, based on the evidence at hand, need the whole season…counting on him to produce meaningful numbers at the ML level next year is a scary proposition. Let’s see where he’s at in July next year…and certainly lets not leave the major league club short hoping that he’ll be the missing piece.

  • BallHeadWonder

    This is from my Girlfriend who is a huge Byrd fan when we got him!!! I am sad to see him leave but with Polanco tearing it up and ready to roll, I understand!!

    It’s a sad day in Tiffanyland… I will miss you boo.. How do I say goodbye, to what we had. Your good games that help us win, out way the bad. I thought we’d get to see forever, but forever is traded away. It’s so hard to say good bye to Marlon Bryd.. And I’ll take with me the memories.. to be my sunshine after a rain delay……

  • Jared

    I just do not understand why people think Polanco is “ready to roll.” Is it his .761 OPS in AA this year in 243 ABs? Is it his .910 OPS at age 20 in low-A? Is he talented? Yes. Will he probably be a very good big league ball player? Yes. Is he putting up numbers worthy of him being talked about or considered for the ML ball club? Heck no!

    Besides the comparison to McCutchen and Marte that I have made that I think fairly definitively demonstrate that Polanco isn’t ready, compare him to other ML’ers. How about Jay Bruce? ..at age 20 Jay Bruce was putting up .950-1,000 OPS in AA/AAA.
    Gregory Polanco’s best season ever was a .910 OPS year in low-A when he was 20…at the age of 20 Jay Bruce’s lowest OPS between A+ and AAA was .925…and that was in AAA…this kid is not even close to ready yet.

    If Polanco comes up this year he basically is Jose Tabata…which we already have and which will provide us a WAR similar to what Byrd alone put up in his limited time with the Pirates!

    • csnumber23

      No, that is a terrible comparison. Even if Polonco struggled, we know he would draw walks and provide 40-50 base stealing speed plus great defense. Tabata does not provide any of that.

  • https://www.facebook.com/marty.leap Marty

    By not bringing back Byrd the Pirates did a lot of things. One, it prevents him from block Polanco. Two, gives the Pirates money to sign a SS, 1B, and a SP (Peralta, Loney, and Johnson/Burnett). Three, you’re not relying on a guy that just had a career year at 36, after looking 100% done at 35, to reproduce his 2013 season. Anyone who thinks Byrd won’t drop off in 2014 is insane. Tabata was the Pirates best hitter not named McCutchen from August 1st on last year, I’m 100% okay with him in RF until Polanco arrives.

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

      There’s a good Fangraphs article that takes a look at Byrd’s career and warns against thinking he’ll put up a 4 WAR again: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/phillies-sign-marlon-byrd-uncertainty/

      Basically the guy is and always has been an average OF over the long haul. His 2013 breakout shouldn’t be seen as any more a sign of things to come than his disastrous 2012. The likeliest outcome is that he’ll revert to being a 1-2 WAR guy, and we already have one of those – Jose Tabata.

  • dr dng

    Not upset at losing Byrd if it allows the Pirates to spend a boatload of money to get a high quality left handed first baseman.

    • dirtydavid4

      DR DNG unless the Pirates can get another club to pick up 50% or more of your left handed first baseman’s salary its not happening. One definitive thing I see happening for sure this winter is Clint Barmes will be given way to much money to come back and bat .215.

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

    Marty: writing down here because there’s no room to reply further up.

    Again, who are these industry sources? Are we talking the baseball industry, or the blogging industry? I’ll help you out: there hasn’t been one indication from anyone within the Pirates organization – or from anyone privy to their discussions – that the payroll will be $90M. Or any number for that matter. All we have is other people who are not inside the room speculating. Rob Biertempfel’s article didn’t even offer a range, let alone a number (just said “significantly higher”). Some posts on PP have ASKED whether the payroll could hit $100M. Other bloggers add the new national TV share to the ’13 payroll and figure therefore the ’14 version will be $90-$100M. None of these is an industry source.

    Fact is, you don’t know, I don’t know, Rob Biertempfel doesn’t know. The best we can do is guess, and my guess, based on the 4 open roster spots (1B, RF, SP and backup SS), is that NH will spend another $20M to fill them. That gets us to $83M, give or take. I have him trading Melancon to open up a slot for Pimentel and bring in a prospect haul (starting with a corner IF preferably). The dude is at the peak of his value, and if you really buy into the notion that late inning guys are made, not born – and I think NH does – then you gotta exploit the opportunity. Maybe this trade happens, maybe it doesn’t. Anyway, the payroll flexibility is secondary but meaningful at the trading deadline where $3M gets you $9M worth of player.

    Now, in order for the budget to be $90M or (gasp) $100M, then NH is spending $27M – $37M to fill those 4 spots. Which would suggest we’re looking at at least one top tier free agent. And yet NH has stated he doesn’t have room for AJ at $14M, and the Bucs haven’t been linked to any of the marquee free agents, and all we’ve heard from the GM meetings is that the Bucs are looking for upside SPs (but not, apparently, frontline guys). So if the Bucs are planning for a $90-$100M opening day payroll, they sure aren’t acting like it.

    And I’m not sure what your point was in cataloging the circumstances surrounding all the relievers NH traded who had years of control remaining – but thanks for helping me make my point, I guess. Nick A Capernicus wrote that NH doesn’t make that kind of trade, and I said he does and gave some examples. Of course there was a justification behind each one, there always is. But that wasn’t the argument. I submit that, if presented with an opportunity to improve the team now and into the future, NH would absolutely trade Melancon or any reliever with years of control remaining, precisely because he knows he can always find the next one.