According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, the Diamondbacks have reached an accord with outfielder Eric Byrnes in the $30MM over three years. Piecoro believes that the fallout of the deal will be a trade of right fielder Carlos Quentin.
Byrnes, 31, can play all three outfield positions. He’s having the best season of his career, hitting .303/.365/.497 while shuffling between the first four spots in the batting order. Long-term, it looks like the Diamondbacks plan on using Byrnes in left field, Chris Young in center, and Justin Upton in right. It’s possible Young and Upton will swap positions, but you really can’t go wrong either way.
Was Byrnes worth it? PECOTA would say no, instead valuing Byrnes closer to the Diamondbacks’ original offer of $22.5MM. However, Josh Byrnes ultimately decided to spend the extra $7.5MM to retain one of the team’s veteran leaders and popular players. And 3/30 is undoubtedly a below-market deal given that Juan Pierre and Gary Matthews Jr. each got five years.
The 2008 free agent list is now one outfielder lighter. Center field options remain plentiful though. As for Quentin, the Nationals and White Sox have been mentioned in the past. The Byrnes extension might clear a path for Kenny Williams to make a deal this winter.