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.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Rick Eger

Losing Bell’s not a great loss.

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

Stephen Brooks

Somewhere Chuck Tanner is smiling.

Rick Eger

Chuck was always’ smiling..

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

Rick Eger

Great point!

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.

Rick Eger

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

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!

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

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.

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.

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