Jon Morosi (Fox Sports) tweeted that the Reds and Phillies were close on a deal that would have sent OF Marlon Byrd to Cincinnati. Morosi doesn’t indicate when these negotiations were taking place. He does say that they could be revived. It’s possible these negotiations took place back when the Reds were shopping Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon, but that’s unlikely as the rebuilding Phillies would have little interest in a one-and-done pitcher.
Byrd is owed $8 million in 2015 and an $8 million option for 2016 would vest if he receives 550 plate appearances in 2015.
Quick thoughts: No, thanks. Byrd is 37 years old and the Reds could be committed for two years. Negative defense. Negative base running. Poor walk-rate. Declining power (although still good). Steamer projects him (.243/.292/.391) at wRC+ of 89. That’s 11 percent below average. Not what you look for in a corner OF. Has the market become so depleted that this is the best the Reds can do? Yikes. Doug Gray has a similar negative view of the potential trade.
This would be an especially bad move if the Reds give up something of actual value for Byrd, like Zack Cozart.
Walt Jocketty, keep looking.