August 27, 2013

Pirates prove they're serious with Marlon Byrd trade

I like the move, the Pittsburgh Pirates making a waiver-wire trade for Marlon Byrd from the Mets. It's a move the team needed to make even before Starling Marte's injury. They badly needed a decent right-handed bat in the outfield. Add in that he's an above-average fielder, and there you go.

Now, he is having a career year, and he is also a free agent at the end of the year, as is add-in catcher John Buck, who's not a bad addition to give Russell Martin some rest.

As for the payout by the Bucs?

Dilson Herrera wasn't listed among their top 20 prospects at the start of the season. He's a 19-year-old having a so-so to decent season, at best, and a decent but not spectacular fielder at an important but not critical defensive position.

I say there's only 1-in-3 odds he ever plays at the MLB level.

With that alone, the deal's all Pirates, even if Buck and Byrd are both pending free agents.

But, the Bucs also owe the Mets a player to be named later. Who is it?

At the same time, the Mets gave the Pirates "cash considerations." Given that Byrd was playing for the minimum, and Buck had $1.5 million left on his contract for this year, that means the Pirates are getting them for nearly free on salaries.

Plus, this indicates to fans and the team that ownership and management has at least some degree of seriousness about making sure the team makes the playoffs. Don't forget an intangible like that.

Anyway, that should lock down the Pirates' playoff spot, and keeps them in the hunt for the Central Division title.

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