Olney On Fielder, Byrd, Suzuki

The Rangers, Reds and Yankees have some of the top infields in baseball, when offense and defense are considered, ESPN.com's Buster Olney writes. Olney suggests the Royals, Blue Jays and Indians have infields that are potentially on the rise. Here are his latest rumors…

  • Some rival executives strongly believe that the Nationals will be the eventual landing place for Prince Fielder. Agents say now is the time for Fielder to take advantage of the market and sign a long-term deal, according to Olney. Click here for the latest on Fielder, who was linked to the Nationals again today.
  • Olney suggests the Red Sox and Nationals could have interest in Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd, who will earn $6.5MM in 2012, the final year of his contract. The Red Sox could play Byrd in right and the Nationals could use him in center.
  • Though trading catcher Kurt Suzuki isn’t a priority for the Athletics, Olney suggests he’ll likely be playing elsewhere by the time next summer’s trade deadline passes (Twitter link).


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70 Comments on "Olney On Fielder, Byrd, Suzuki"


joeybw
3 years 6 months ago

I figured there would already be a topic of the teams interested in Suzuki. Going by salary and the fact that NO ONE would take Fuentes, Suzuki would logically be the next to go.

melonis_rex
3 years 6 months ago

If Zooks goes, its at the deadline. Give him a shot to rebound and someone’s catcher to get hurt.

Mark12
3 years 6 months ago

Send Byrd away! Please Cubs!!!
Nats look like a great fit for him.

melonis_rex
3 years 6 months ago

Buster Olney likes to state the painfully obvious. He really does.

cyberboo
3 years 6 months ago

Olney is also zero for forever in ever posting anything that is accurate.  He has the credibility of an earthworm and I don’t believe anything he writes.  Saying now is the time to sign Fielder to a long term contract is a joke.  If GM’s offer Fielder 5 years and 100M tops, he either takes the offer or sits at home.  Teams aren’t being held for ransom and the big market boys aren’t involved with Fielder, so Boras can get them bidding against each other.  It is a simple case of selectivity and Boras can ask for the moon all he wants.  Madson will probably settle for a one year deal, not four.  Fielder 5 years max, plus his other clients have to take what is offered and like it or they don’t play.  It is as simple as that. 

Shawnthemon
3 years 6 months ago

Trading Suzuki when Norris is ready would be logical, but then again, they have zero chance of winning that division, maybe they should trade him to Houston to try and get a better pick. 

baseballdude
3 years 6 months ago

Byrd would be a horrible defensive center fielder.

nictonjr
3 years 6 months ago

Shhhh.  You are ruining it…

BlueCatuli
3 years 6 months ago

UZR says otherwise and since he’s played CF primarily for the Cubs the last two years and been above average, I’d say your wrong.

101andCounting
3 years 6 months ago

Byrd plays CF for the Cubs now and has mostly played CF his whole career. Although he’s a bigger guy, he takes excellent routes and reads the ball well off the bat. He has an above-average career UZR, and he posted a 9.8 as recently as 2010. He’s also deceptively quick and not afraid to use his body to make a big play. 

Not a bad player by any stretch of the word. If he could hit 20 HR a year instead of 10, he’d be much more highly reputed.

Rangersfan32
3 years 6 months ago

He used to be a pretty solid CF in Texas. Granted, that was about 3 years ago.

John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

Still solid, only for another team now.

sourbob
3 years 6 months ago

I wonder if Jason Martinson and a reliever from the Nats would work for Byrd.

BDLugz
3 years 6 months ago

I think paying him the 6.5 million would work….

101andCounting
3 years 6 months ago

I don’t know why they wouldn’t make a Byrd-LaRoche swap. The Nats need a CF, the Cubs need a 1B.

BlueCatuli
3 years 6 months ago

Because LaRoche makes 3.5MM more and has a negative WAR. Brian LaHair could do the same thing at a fraction of the cost.

101andCounting
3 years 6 months ago

He was injured last year and posted a -0.2 WAR last year in 177 PA. His average yearly WAR is in the 1.5-2.5 range, with a career total of 9.4. 

LaHair could potentially do the same thing, and perhaps he’s worth a shot, but I think we’d be better off with a veteran who we know won’t struggle against Major League pitching.

Also, if the Cubs absorb that extra 3.5 million, it makes for plenty of leverage to wheedle a prospect or two out of Washington.

BlueCatuli
3 years 6 months ago

Agree to disagree.

hallwagner
3 years 6 months ago

because laroche is historically a far better player than byrd. we’d need something else in the deal. probably a mid-level prospect

sourbob
3 years 6 months ago

Or because the entire idea of trading Byrd would be to rid the roster of a middling veteran drawing a multi-million dollar salary, not to get a new one.

101andCounting
3 years 6 months ago

That’s a good point. My only reasoning for making a swap like this would be to fill holes for both the Nats and Cubs. It would also give Campana a shot at a starting gig (which I don’t necessarily think he can handle, but would be worth trying, at least) and open up CF for Brett Jackson when he comes up in May/June.

Also, as I said in another post, by absorbing the extra money owed LaRoche compared to Byrd, we could get a prospect or two out of Washington as well.

jammin502
3 years 6 months ago

The writing was on the wall for Byrd when the Cubs resigned Johnson. The Cubs will be giving Jackson every chance possible to win the starting CF job in spring training. Johnson gives you a good veteran backup there. I think Campana will win a roster spot for his speed but not as a starter.

BlueCatuli
3 years 6 months ago

Dave Sappelt might have something to say about that.

BlueCatuli
3 years 6 months ago

2 years more service time and double the WAR. Explain to us all how the Nats would need another player for an over paid below average first baseman when they would be receiving an underpaid above average outfielder (something they’re in the market for).

hallwagner
3 years 6 months ago

yea i looked at his WAR right after i made the post just to make sure i didnt make a fool of myself, but i did 😛
i still think laroche is better. i’d rather have .270/25/100 with a low OBP than .290/15/70 with an average OBP. they both play premium defense though, although byrd at a more premium position. i mean i would support the trade, i just think a byrd for laroche straight up would side with the cubs better

Fifty_Five
3 years 6 months ago

You’re completely ignoring the fact that LaRoche’s arm fell out of his socket last year.

hallwagner
3 years 6 months ago

and ryan zimmermans back broke in half, but you don’t hear people calling him a scrub

Fifty_Five
3 years 6 months ago

Because he came back and proved he was healthy. LaRoche hasn’t played since April. Even if the Nats offered to hand him over to the Cubs and eat half his contract, the Cubs would still have to think about it

sourbob
3 years 6 months ago

.290/15/70 with good defense in CF is much, much less common and more valuable than LaRoche’s .267/25/85 he usually does over a full season, or even the 25/100 he put up in Arizona, for a 1B.

101andCounting
3 years 6 months ago

That is patently false. LaRoche has better power numbers but that’s it. Marlon has consistently hit for a higher average/better OBP, plays a premium defensive position (CF) much better than LaRoche plays 1B, according to UZR. Also, LaRoche’s salary, as BlueCatuli mentioned, is 3.5MM more than Byrd’s. If anything, Washington would be throwing in the prospects.

sourbob
3 years 6 months ago

Fangraphs WAR, 2007-2011:
Byrd: 13.4
LaRoche: 7.2

Baseball Reference WAR, 2007-2011:
Byrd: 14.8
LaRoche: 4.8

hallwagner
3 years 6 months ago

already made note of this if you were reading. also this is just 1 metric and a players value really depends on what you need. also laroche has been pretty consistent since 2005 wheras byrd has been productive since 2007 but not had alot of ab’s in a lot of those years under 500 for 3 of them. also take a look at the team byrd played for before texas, the nats might be wary

sourbob
3 years 6 months ago

Yeah, I just saw that. Good on you for owning up. Anyway, there were nineteen 1B who matched or bettered the roughly 113 wRC LaRoche is usually good for this year, and thirteen CF who bested the roughly 108 wRC Byrd is usually good for. 

So Byrd is typically an average CF offensively, whereas LaRoche is bottom third for a 1B.

And that’s assuming both are healthy. But as folks have pointed out, LaRoche is looking like he might be seriously damaged.

I think there are about 30 teams in baseball who would prefer a healthy $6.5 MM CF who was good for a 108 wRC and two runs above average in fielding to an injured $10MM 1B who was worth 113 wRC and two runs above average in fielding at the easiest position on the field.

All Day Réy
3 years 6 months ago

If Nationals land Fielder, there is gonna be one ugly 4 headed beast in the NL East for years to come. Go Mets!!

Sully65
3 years 6 months ago

If they land Fielder they are right there with Phillies.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

Until Strasburg hits his innings limit.

They’d be legit with Fielder in the middle of that order.

Espinosa/Werth/Zimmerman/Fielder/Morse/Harper/Desmond/Ramos is probably better than the Phillies unless Utley comes back strong.

hallwagner
3 years 6 months ago

you guys are probably gonna miss howard for the first part of the season, so it might all even out in the end.

Mikey Roederer
3 years 6 months ago

Im kind of surprise there hasn’t been more action on Marlon Byrd.. He put up decent numbers last year, plays above avg. defense and isn’t super expensive for a one year contract CF…I really thought we would have traded him by now

3 years 6 months ago

Kurt Suzuki might not be a star, but the league-wide depth chart for C’s is pretty talentless, generally speaking. Its actually hard to find a 2 WAR C these days, he had a better year than John Buck, who makes more money than him. He’s an upgrade to a good number of teams simply by being a good game caller. If he somehow learns to hit again he’d be worth a couple top 15 prospects or a young blocked prospect type. If he’s hitting .280 with 10 HR in July he’s a goner.

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Nats for fielder….Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Didnt they learn anything from werth?????????

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Nats for fielder….Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Didnt they learn anything from werth?????????

joeybw
3 years 6 months ago

I would take Suzuki on the Rays. Yes, his contract is going up but the reason his hitting has gone down the last 2 years is because the A’s play him everyday. Going by his salary and last few years production, he should be cheap to acquire. And the Rays could use a catcher, we have Molina and then a couple of unproven, injury prone catchers.

Eric Foster
3 years 6 months ago

The Cubs already tipped-off everybody of their plans.
They can pretty much hand Byrd over to any willing team. Shouldn’t cost much in return. Jackson WILL get a shot at centerfield in 2012.

Same with Randy Wells. He’s not part of the big picture and a majority of his success was over his head. Won’t cost much to obtain him. On most other teams, he’d be the longman/spot starter. 

Aside from Garza, no one will bring much of a return. Even Soto, after a down season, should probably be held onto and hope a bounceback season drives up his value at the trade deadline.

This is all addition by subtraction, in hopes some of these kids will be a part of the change. I’m excited for 2014.

3 years 6 months ago

Interesting about Suzuki.I’m an A’s fan and I don’t mind the Bailey trade, because we needed someone that was mlb ready. I can definitely see trading Suzuki because we have a good amount of catchers in the minors who are basically  ready for the  big leagues such as; Anthony Recker (Closest) and Josh Donaldson. After all these prospect trades, we Do  have an outfield. It might be all AAAA guys, but it’s either now or never for them to succeed. I also believe our infield is decent and might become above average in a few years. At third base we have Scott Sizemore, who walks a pretty good amount and can get 20 hrs in a full season. At shortstop we have Cliff Pennington who led our team in BA last year with .267 (excluding Jemile Weeks). I believe he will improve a lot on his defense and could become a hitter in the .290 area. AT second we Have Jemile Weeks who will hit for average, improve his defense and base running. Lastly, we have a surplus at first with a variety of depth. We have some OBP, some power, but also some strikeout guys. Daric Barton (OBP,no power), Brandon Allen (power, strikeouts), Kila Kaiahue (Decent OBP, decent power). Overall, I’m anxious to see this franchise next year, and even further into the future. I’m not expecting a World Series next year, and I may be a bit too optimistic, but I will definitely go to As games next year. 

Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

Suzuki makes too much sense for the rays…he could put up 15-20 homers for them (playing more often at fenway, rogers center, and yankee stadium vs playing 82 games at oakland colliseum), and he works with young staffs well (hellickson, price, davis if he’s still around, and moore)

Steven Resnick
3 years 6 months ago

Suzuki plays too much and hasn’t done anything offensively or defensively the last two seasons. He’s likely to be staying. 

Lastings
3 years 6 months ago

That would only happen if this “Bean” was GM…

bigpat
3 years 6 months ago

Do your posts come with a translator because I have no idea what the hell you just said?

Rangersfan32
3 years 6 months ago

3rd grade is tough.

MetsMagic
3 years 6 months ago

Usually I can fudge it with your posts, but this time I just have no clue. 

3 years 6 months ago

Mariners got Jaso. It’s not gonna happen.

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
3 years 6 months ago

What happened to Fielder to the Mariners? I thought that was your dream!

ironnat
3 years 6 months ago

I guess over paying is better then being hopelessly and perpetually bad.

grownice
3 years 6 months ago

 He came back to reality.

sourbob
3 years 6 months ago

Why did you put Rob Johnson in quotes? Are you of the opinion the Mets got a fake Rob Johnson, someone who is supposedly Rob Johnson, but isn’t really?

NatsTown
3 years 6 months ago

Yea, Nats lineup is better than the Phillies’. But you just cant beat that ungodly rotation

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

It’s about even unless Werth has a normal year.

I said probably because Harper hasn’t done anything in the majors yet. If he is what he’s expected to be, it’s better. There’s been plenty of can’t miss, future hall of famers that haven’t panned out.

Rollins/Victorino/Pence/Utley/Mayberry/Wigginton/Polanco/Ruiz isn’t ideal to start the season though.

3 years 6 months ago

The photo gets pulled in from the outside account you use to login – like, say, your Twitter avatar.

3 years 6 months ago

Ace bandages like a mummy, I hear.

oz10
3 years 6 months ago

The Cardinals did…..

oz10
3 years 6 months ago

The Cardinals did…..

John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

Don’t feed the trolls.

John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

Don’t feed the trolls.

hallwagner
3 years 6 months ago

and so did the nats, but on paper they have a ridiculous rotation, especially with wilson valdez and his 0.00 career ERA penciled in as the ace (that last part was a joke if you couldnt figure it out)

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

You can beat them just not on paper.

In fairness to them though, Halladay and Hamels held up their ends of the bargain… Philly’s favorite $120 million dollar man couldn’t hold up his. It’s not like they didn’t show up to pitch.

cookmeister
3 years 6 months ago

I don’t think he is a troll, i think he is literally 10 years old

Eric Foster
3 years 6 months ago

All very good points!
However, he’s adapted at every level, and brings enough upside in power, speed and defense to deserve a shot.
His swing and miss issues are very alarming. My estimate was that he hits around 2.50/2.60 with 20+ homers and 30+ stolen bases. I guess I feel like mechanics can be altered, and his approach is mature. The kid takes a walk, and defends his position well.

I have much more confidence in Jackson and his mechanical issues than I do with Vitters and his stubborn inability to work the count.
Might as well play him on a rebuilding team, and see if he’s a big picture piece to build around.

Charley Thompson
3 years 6 months ago

He hasn’t hit above .245 for the last two seasons.

Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

average?….sigh

yes, he hasn’t hit well, but he’s hit better on the road than at home, and he’s a solid defender. 

a move to somewhere like Tampa would help his stats immensely, he could possibly even hit 20 homers…just possibly. 

that and he works great with young pitching staffs

he may not be a stud, but he’s not bad either

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

Not if the reason you’re hopelessly and perpetually bad is because you overpayed too many guys (cough cough Cubs cough)