Marlon Byrd Rumors
The Rays tend to stand pat at the trade deadline, and you can expect the same this time around, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Right now, the Rays have one of their best squads in the past six seasons, strong pitching, a solid bullpen, and the offense is doing better than expected. "I like what we have now," manager Joe Maddon said. "With everybody staying well I don't anticipate us doing anything." Here's more out of the AL and NL East..
- Consistent with what we've been hearing, the Mets say that they aren't in a rush to trade outfielder Marlon Byrd, writes Mike Puma of the New York Post. ”It would have to be significant [talent],” Alderson said before last night's game. “I don’t want to add to the speculation because I don’t know what’s going to happen, but we want to remain competitive.” Byrd is hitting .267/.313/.498 with 15 homers while the Mets are 40-50, 12 games back from the first place Braves.
- Domonic Brown is shining for the Phillies, but they almost let him get away, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Brown was an untouchable during talks in 2009 with Toronto for Roy Halladay but two baseball sources said Brown's name was discussed in the 2011 trade with the Astros for Hunter Pence.
- The Red Sox aren't feeling pressured to make a trade before the deadline, writes Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. Even if Clay Buchholz has another setback, the BoSox can still get by with what they have, in Silverman's estimation.
The Red Sox bolstered their bullpen last night when they acquired Matt Thornton (and cash) from the White Sox in exchange for minor league outfielder Brandon Jacobs. The left-hander hasn't been quite as sharp this season as he has in years past, but Boston hopes that he'll help fill their need for a quality southpaw after losing Andrew Miller for the season. Here's more out of the AL and NL East..
- Mets assistant GM J.P. Ricciardi told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM (via Twitter) that the club will only move Marlon Byrd if they can get a serious return. Andy Martino of the Daily News heard earlier this week that the Mets were unlikely to trade the veteran, though one scout noted that GM Sandy Alderson & Co. could just be looking to drive up the price.
- Clay Buchholz's timeline for returning has been pushed back a bit, which could lead the Red Sox to put a little more thought into acquiring a starter before the deadline, writes Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. Buchholz was originally scheduled to make a rehab start tomorrow, but he'll instead spend some time regaining his arm strength with bullpen sessions.
- In speaking to season ticket holders, Orioles Executive Vice President Dan Duquette explained that the club has the financial resources to make deals that are worthwhile, writes Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com. “The addition of Scott Feldman to our team was a sign that we want to be in this thing,” Duquette said.
- Ed Rendell of the Philadelphia Daily News suggests that the Phillies should look to add a quality reliever like Jesse Crain of the White Sox while moving Carlos Ruiz, who he has value given the lack of quality catching out there.
Matt Warden of River Ave. Blues completed his 2013 series on potential Yankees' trade targets, highlighting the Rockies' Tyler Colvin, Peter Bourjos of the Angels, the Mariners' Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez, and Logan Morrison of the Marlins. Here's more out of baseball's Eastern divisions...
- The Mets aren't likely to trade Marlon Byrd, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. General manager Sandy Alderson will likely employ the same strategy he did with Scott Hairston last summer. However, one scout told Martino that he's not sure if the team's plan to stand pat is just posturing to drive up trade prices.
- The Phillies would be buyers right now if it were July 31, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters (including Todd Zolecki of MLB.com). Amaro said he doesn't feel he has a replacement for Jonathan Papelbon and needs his closer to contend. However, he also doesn't want to part with young talent, and Zolecki calls the Phillies' situation "fluid."
- The Yankees and Red Sox at one point appeared to be one of the most serious contenders for the Phillies' Michael Young, George A. King III of the New York Post writes. However, the Red Sox's main focus is now on bullpen help. Young isn't opposed to playing in the Bronx, according to King.
- Within that same post, King notes that Howie Frieling, a special assignment scout for the Phillies, was in attendance to watch the Yankees against the Twins last week. The Phils also sent Sal Agostinelli, their director of international scouting, to watch the Yankees on Wednesday.
- King adds that Joba Chamberlain's trade stock is falling, and the Phillies "have questions about what is perceived as the reliever’s immaturity," King says. In addition, one team that was previously interested in Chamberlain told King that they don't plan to make an offer for him because it's believed that the Yankees could eventually release him.
- Marlon Byrd told Daniel Nelson of Mets Merized Online that he'd love to stay with the Mets but understands that he could be shipped to a contender at the deadline. "Sandy Alderson’s going to do anything possible to make this organization the best it can be," Byrd says.
- Orioles prospect Henry Urrutia is "getting closer" to being an option, Buck Showalter told reporters, including Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Urrutia entered the season as the Orioles' No. 13 prospect, according to Baseball America, but has likely upped his stock with a big performance at Double-A and Triple-A. The Cuban defector is hitting .365/.429/.536 with seven homers in 280 minor league plate appearances this season.
Aaron Steen contributed to this post.
Here's a look at the latest out of the NL East..
- The Mets have yet to field any calls on Marlon Byrd but they expect to if he keeps things up, tweets Marc Carig of Newsday. Byrd has looked strong as of late and owns a .261/.307/.486 slash line on the year with 13 homers.
- Ryan Howard was placed on the 15-day disabled list with knee trouble, meaning that he'll miss the next couple of weeks that will determine whether the Phillies are buyers or sellers, writes Phil Sheridan of The Inquirer. If they're sellers, then fellow franchise cornerstone Chase Utley could be among those shipped off. Recently, we learned that the Blue Jays are expected to have interest in the second baseman if he is made available.
- The Nationals were forced to place Ross Detwiler on the disabled list thanks to a back issue and his health, coupled with Dan Haren's medical issues, could lead them to intensify their search for a starting pitcher, writes MASNsports.com's Dan Kolko.
With nearly half the season in the books, the Washington Post's Barry Svrluga took a look at the offseason's biggest bargains. He starts his list with Marlon Byrd of the Mets, who signed a minor league deal but has contributed 12 home runs and a .258/.309/.493 line in 237 plate appearances.
- The next player to get a nod in the article is the Pirates' Francisco Liriano, who inked an incentive-driven deal with Pittsburgh. He has been nothing short of stellar thus far, carrying a 2.30 ERA over 54 2/3 innings and 10.0 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9. Liriano's excellence has combined with a stunning earlygoing for Jeff Locke, continued renaissance for A.J. Burnett, and now the emergence of top prospect Gerrit Cole to give the Buccos a surprisingly excellent rotation.
- Of course, the Bucs just became the first MLB team to fifty wins after decades of poor performances. While the team may not necessarily have any obvious areas that require immediate attention, then, one must wonder whether it will contemplate any bold moves to seize the opportunity this year. As MLB.com's Tom Singer writes, Pittsburgh will be very interesting to watch as the trade deadline approaches. Manager Clint Hurdle explained: "You always need to look and see if you can add to the team strength. ... You pay attention to chemistry, and try to do the right thing."
- In spite of the rotation's excellence thus far, then, one wonders whether it could be an area that the club looks to improve. While the staff currently sports the league's second-lowest ERA, it ranks 11th in FIP, 18th in xFIP, and 20th in WAR. (All links to Fangraphs leaderboards.) Locke, in particular, looks destined for some pretty heavy regression, with his 2.06 ERA belied by a 3.85 FIP and 4.11 xFIP. In addition to possible regression, Pittsburgh's starting depth has been tested already. As Singer reports, the Pirates could be looking at long absences for starters Wandy Rodriguez and James McDonald. Rodriguez, in particular, would be a major loss if he misses substantial time. He reportedly has been shut down after experiencing forearm tightness following a toss on flat ground.
- Another team that has experienced pitching injuries, the Dodgers, has made an internal move to try and shore up its late-inning woes. The team announced on Twitter that it has brought up right-handed reliever Jose Dominguez. As Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times explains, the 22-year-old has a legitimate 100+ MPH heater. After two drug suspensions earlier in his career, the Dominican native will look to make a bullpen acquisition unnecessary for the Dodgers.
- Sticking with the relief side of the rubber, the Cubs' Kevin Gregg has emerged as an unlikely trade candidate. As MLB.com's Carrie Muskat writes, Chicago already seems to be sizing up replacements for their newly minted closer. Of course, Gregg blew his first save this evening, which could take some of the luster off of his outstanding start. (Gregg's potential replacement, Blake Parker, went on to pick up his first big league save.) But as MLBTR's Steve Adams recently explained, Gregg's results have largely been supported by his peripherals.
- Another obvious trade candidate, the Marlins' Ricky Nolasco, also struggled in his latest showcase. Nevertheless, as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald writes, Miami has already lined up Nolasco's rotation spot to be occupied by Henderson Alvarez as soon as Wednesday. Manager Mike Redmond says that Alvarez is "going to be on his way" to Miami and that the team will "figure out what we're going to do as far as where we're going to fit him in."
- The Marlins may be forced to return top Rule 5 pick Alfredo Silverio to the Dodgers after the 26-year-old outfielder had to undergo a second Tommy John surgery, writes Spencer. The former prospect had his career derailed by a car accident, but was hoping to re-establish himself in Miami.
Here's a look at some items on the Mets and Marlins..
- Mets outfielder Marlon Byrd says that he may retire if he doesn't make the club out of spring training, writes Mike Puma of the New York Post. However, the 35-year-old stands a good chance of winding up in orange and blue this year given the state of the Mets' outfield. Byrd was released before he could serve his 50-game suspension last season, but he won't have to serve any more time on it in 2013.
- Under the new collective bargaining agreement, a player with significant MLB experience the previous season who comes to camp the next year on a minor league deal gets an early decision on whether he has made the team. Mets vets LaTroy Hawkins, Pedro Feliciano, and Tim Byrdak qualify, assistant GM John Ricco tells Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Because of that, the Mets must either inform those three they've made the team, cut them a check for $100K to go to the minors, or release them by March 26th.
- Mark Buehrle is happy to have moved on from his short stay with the Marlins and isn't dwelling on owner Jeffrey Loria's PR campaign in Miami, writes Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. "I saw some of it and pretty much didn't pay attention to it," the left-hander said, "because I know what I was told and I saw what he was saying, and they weren't the same thing. So I mean, I guess he's got to do what he's got to do to get the fans back. But whatever."
The latest on the Mets as Spring Training continues in Port St. Lucie...
- It’s “almost impossible” that the Mets will fire or extend manager Terry Collins during the 2013 season, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports (on Twitter). Collins’ contract expires after the season, and he has said he doesn’t expect the situation to become a distraction.
- Collins says he's pleased with the array of left-handed relievers in camp this year, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. "We come into this spring with five legitimate candidates, which we haven’t had in the past,” Collins said.
- Marlon Byrd told Kevin Burkhardt of SNY.tv that he decided to sign with the Mets because of Collins’ presence and the chance to contribute as a veteran on a young team with upside (video link via MetsBlog.com).
Earlier today, we learned that the Mets are pursuing Jose Valverde, and would even consider a reunion Francisco Rodriguez as they look to strengthen their bullpen. The Mets were also thinking outside the box when they approached Roy Oswalt about the possibility of serving as their closer in 2013, but the veteran isn't interested in signing on as a reliever and isn't likely to come to Queens. Here's more on the Mets..
- Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson says "there are still a few options out there" when it comes to the possibility of trading for an outfielder, tweets Marc Carig of Newsday. Earlier tonight, they picked up another outfield option when they signed Marlon Byrd to a minor league deal with a major league spring training invite.
- Speaking of Byrd, a Mets official told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter) that even though he was released by the Red Sox in June after getting hit with his 50-game suspension, it is viewed as already having been served.
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs looks at the case the Mets could make for protecting their first-round pick in the event that they decide to pull the trigger on signing Michael Bourn. Cameron doesn't like the Mets' chances of winning that battle, but he opines that a ruling in their favor would help promote MLB's claim that draft pick compensation is for the benefit of losing teams, rather than driving down salaries.
The Mets announced that they have signed outfielder Marlon Byrd to a minor league deal with an invite to major league spring training. Byrd, a client of the ACES agency, is expected to compete with Andrew Brown for the Mets' fifth outfielder spot, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com (on Twitter).
The Cubs ate $6.1MM of Byrd's $6.5MM salary in an April trade with the Red Sox that netted them Michael Bowden. The 35-year-old was suspended for 50 games in June after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. In 153 combined plate appearances with the Cubs and Red Sox, Byrd posted a combined .210/.243/.245 slash line.
Earlier this month, we heard that the Marlins had some interest in signing Byrd. For his career, Byrd has hit .278/.336/.413 for the Phillies, Rangers, Cubs, Nationals, and Red Sox.
As arbitration eligible players around MLB agree to terms with their respective teams, be sure to use MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker. The tool allows users to search in many ways, including by team and by service time. Here are the latest links from around MLB...
- The Giants' multiyear deals with Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro are among five free agent contracts that could backfire, ESPN.com's Jim Bowden writes.
- The Giants would offer Brian Wilson a big league contract, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). The Mets are also in on Wilson, who was non-tendered by San Francisco at the end of November.
- Doug Lara, Marlon Byrd's personal hitting coach, told Puro Beisbol last week that the outfielder is in discussions with the Marlins. Byrd has been playing for the Tomateros de Culiacán this winter (translation via Nick Collias).
- Dennys Reyes told Puro Beisbol that he has offers from the Dodgers, Orioles, and Blue Jays. Among the three, Reyes said, "I'd like to return to the Dodgers," the team he debuted with as 20-year-old in 1997 (translation via Nick Collias).
- Free agent right-hander Jair Jurrjens told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he feels good physically and has begun throwing bullpens (Twitter link).