In May, I wrote about Marlon Byrd’s $8 million option for 2016 that vests if the Reds outfielder accumulates 550 plate appearances.

Math: The Reds have played 107 games. Byrd missed 15 of those (6/3-18) on the disabled list. He’s been eligible to play in 92 games and the Reds have used him in 85 of those games, 83 as a starter. Byrd has accumulated 348 plate appearances. That means the Reds have given Byrd 3.78 plate appearances per game (348/92). The Reds have 55 games remaining. If they play him at the same rate, Byrd will accumulate 208 more PA (55*3.78), for a total of 556.

Note to Reds: 556 > 550.

Hopefully someone at GABP is keeping track of this on a legal pad. Or maybe they’ve assigned someone in the Analytics Department to put a pebble in his/her pocket for every one of Byrd’s plate appearances, and count them every now and then.

Any of three factors could intervene to prevent the option from vesting:

• Byrd could suffer an injury. He turns 38 in three weeks, so that wouldn’t be a shocking development. It wouldn’t even take a DL stint for him to fall short of the trigger. Given current usage rates when healthy, if Byrd misses just 3-4 games with a non-serious injury, that would be sufficient for him to fall short. It’s bad form to cheer for injuries, though.

• The Reds could bench Byrd more frequently in September when permissible rosters expand. Bryan Price has given Byrd one game off out of every 10. That projects to 5 more games on the bench for the rest of the season. The Reds would have to be nuts to not give their young outfielders playing time when they can.  If they don’t, it would mean they are actually trying to make Byrd’s option vest. In other words, trying to get themselves fired.

• Byrd could pass through waivers and be traded before August 31. This is conventional wisdom and I hope it’s right. But Byrd is making just $1.33 million per month and the Phillies are paying half of that. If a team makes a waiver claim on Byrd – say to block him from a competitor, with no intention of trading for him – they would gamble $1 million or less, depending on when the Reds put Byrd through the waiver process. That blocking maneuver is common and would put at risk what amounts to chump change for a team competing for a postseason slot. So I’m not convinced Byrd goes unclaimed. If a team does make a claim, the Reds could let Byrd go, which they should absolutely do. In fact, they should send Byrd’s contract to his new team by having Billy Hamilton run it over (he’s fast, you see) and include a few pints of Graeter’s as thanks. But face it, that doesn’t sound like the Reds. Well, the Billy Hamilton part does. The smart part doesn’t.

The option trigger could make Byrd more difficult to trade. The Reds could have prevented the situation from getting this close in the first place by resting Byrd one more game per month.

I haven’t seen any comments from the front office about Byrd’s future with the Reds. With the general manager already pointing to 2017, it would be folly of enormous magnitude for the Reds to allow Byrd’s 2016 contract to become guaranteed. He would play next year at age 38-39. When you account for his defense, Byrd has barely been a net positive player (0.4 fWAR, 0.9 bWAR) this year.

That $8 million could be put to better use. Like building a third scoreboard that displays the team’s batting average on each day of the week. Or shooting the money into the sun.

131 Responses

    • Ken Goldsberry

      Who figures absolutely not at all into future plans. Why pay that kind of cash on a player who would undoubtedly walk after next season? Better to use that money on the international market on prospects than on a ‘luxury’ piece of dubious value.

      • Tom Gray

        The Reds won’t contend until 2018 or maybe 2017 at the earliest.

        2016 = 1982. 2017 = 1983. 2018 = 1984. The Reds were contenders the next 4 seasons in 1985-86-87-88. I’m hopeful history repeats in 2019-20-21-22.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Are you saying the Reds should pick up Byrd’s $8 million option? If not, I don’t understand the point of your comment, since it doesn’t really have anything to do with the post. You don’t evaluate a player based on one aspect of his game. Stats like WAR put a value on the player’s entire contribution.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Usually, comments are relevant to the post. If you aren’t saying the Reds should pick up Byrd’s option, what you said is no more relevant than commenting with Byrd’s middle name. I’m trying to decide if you’re someone who just disagrees with everything he can, or if you offer constructive value to the site.

      • Tom Gray

        Read below. Byrd is a decent power hitter even at his age. Other teams will want that. The Reds may not.

      • Tom Gray

        His last 3 yrs make him a good possibility for an August waiver trade to a contender.

        The Reds won’t be a contender until I’m getting Social Security payments (Aug 2017).

      • Steve Mancuso

        Did you read the post, the section on his being a waiver trade candidate and why it may not work unless the Reds are willing to just give him away?

      • Tom Gray

        Yes. He is a good possibility for a waiver trade. Not many experienced power hitters are available in August AND who can clear waivers.

      • Steve Mancuso

        The fact there aren’t many power hitters available is the reason he won’t clear waivers. Explained in the post. I said the Reds should trade him or let him go for free, but may not get the chance to do that with a blocking maneuver.

      • Jay King

        Honestly, Why are we arguing this point.. Yes he has almost 20 HR. He has been better on defense than even I expected. I am not saying he is a good player but he has not been as bad as most of us thought he would be.

        Also stop nit picking each other posters…

      • [email protected]

        Tom is saying that Byrd is a brilliant Walt J. Pickup. Brilliant!

        He will not mention that Walt could have had him for free as a waiver pick up

    • Hotto4Votto

      Yorman will probably start the year in LF if the Reds don’t bring in anyone else, and they’re not going to try something silly like playing Suarez out there. Yorman is out of options and has to stick with the Reds next year. His defense will be an upgrade. I’m hoping he will put all his tools together, at least enough to hold the fort until Winker is ready.

      • Tom

        Isn’t this just the second option year for Yorman? Won’t he get his third next year?

      • Tom Gray

        I think he is out of options after 2015. He must stick on Reds roster in 2016 or FA.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Yorman had to be added to the 40-man earlier than most prospects (age wise) because he was signed as a 16yr old.

  1. Tom

    Steve,

    I love your posts and your wit. Nothing is more indicative of the Reds’ mismanagement than this very real possibility of Byrd reaching his option for 2016. I can only hope he is traded soon, though you never know with Jocketty–“veteran leadership” and all that and how his “good” numbers will play in 2016.

    On another topic, I find myself very happy with results like last night–great pitching from our young pitchers, especially Iglesias, but a loss, as I would love for the Reds to get a top 5 draft pick, as unlikely as that is. I believe to be really good, you have to be really bad (Astros, Nationals), but the Reds are always somewhere in the middle.

    God bless,

    Tom

      • another-bob-in-nc

        As I recall, not looking it up, the draft pick right after Chad Mottola was a high school kid named Derick Jetter. No point, just trivia.

      • Michael E

        No denying the talent at the top of the draft has more upside and less risk. I’d rather have a top 5 pick than play .500 ball the rest of the way, miss the playoffs by 10 games and get pick 14.

        Keep losing as winning means NOTHING from here forward. NOTHING.

      • docmike

        Of course you realize that the Reds’ checkered history with top-5 draft picks means absolutely nothing for next year’s draft.

        And of course you know that even though nothing is a sure thing, picking earlier in the draft should allow the Reds to draft a prospect with a higher chance to become a future star than they would picking 10 spots later.

      • lwblogger2

        Chad Mattola!! He’s the great one right? Right? 😉

  2. Ron fleshman

    Ponder this. If the Reds want people to come to the ballpark, they have to be somewhat competitive. There is no answer in left than Byrd and he can hit. His salary is not that high and $8 million would only allow them to do things that wouldn’t include winning. I don’t want to waste a season, even while re-tooling, watching little to no offense in left. To each is own, but someone at least has to make things interesting for the turnstiles to move.

    • Tom

      The problems with planning on using Byrd next season are these:
      1) at his age, the little he can hit now will almost certainly decline next season
      2) his fielding is negative, and will be expected to decline further, as well
      3) finding a replacement level player for $8 million (or even half that) should not be difficult
      4) many fans would rather see young players given a shot, players who might pan out and wind up much better than replacement level (count me in this group) – the Reds may sell more tickets with some youth injected into the roster

      • docmike

        Good post. I don’t think the absence or presence of Marlon Byrd will have any effect on the Reds’ attendance.

      • Jay King

        Assuming he does not get injured there really is no difference between a 38 yr. and a 39 year old player. If he keeps in shape I expect him to be about the same. 8 million does seem a little steep to me for him but wonder if he does not make the contract would he sign for say 4 million or 5 max for 1 year. What free agent this coming off season can out perform Byrd that would come to cincy knowing we are rebuilding.

    • Tom Gray

      Lots of Cubs fan go to Wrigley Field year after year, and the Cubs are rarely competitive.

      Not much else to do in Cincy during the summer. Reds games are about it.

      • Chuck Schick

        Seeing a game at GABP isn’t on the bucket list of many people….going to Wrigley transcends the Cubs for many. Millions of people throughout the word visit Chicago in the summer and many wind up at Wrigley.

        Actual Cub fans largely stayed away the previous 3 seasons but the tour buses from Nebraska and people in town for business kept showing up. Also, there are hundreds of thousands of people who live within 3 miles of Wrigley who view it as a bar with a $40 cover charge…. they show up no matter what since the game itself is just background noise.

      • Tom Gray

        All due respect, but no. I lived in Chicago for 41 years. The North Side yuppies go to Wrigley Field in good numbers. I never saw a tour bus from Nebraska near it.

        Where do you live in Chicago to gain that perspective?

      • Michael E

        Seeing Marlon Byrd play is even LESS of a bucket list item than simply going to a game at GABP, so yeah, the original missed the boat on this one. The implication is more people will go to games with Byrd than without…uh, find ONE person for ONE game next year. Good luck. (Byrd’s momma doesn’t count).

      • Chuck Schick

        Tom,

        I’ve lived 2 miles from Wrigley for the past 10 years and averaged 10-20 games per year.

      • MrRed

        “Not much else to do in Cincy during the summer” – When’s the last time you’ve been in Cincinnati, Thomas? Give your ace a rest, you’ve been talking out of it too much here.

      • MrRed

        Got it. Pretty short stints. t’s a shame that you couldn’t find anything else to do. There really are a lot of nice options for young and old and of varied interests. Not to mention, affordable options (relative to Reds games).

      • Tom Gray

        Sorry, I lived there from 1951 through 1974. I visited at least monthly from 1975 through 2000.

        I repeat, not much else to do in Cincy during the summer if the Reds suck, like 1971.

      • Tom Reed

        Cincinnati has as much, or more, going on in the summer than any other mid-sized American city. Many fine museums, good restaurants, and plenty of music whether your taste is rock, popular or classical with events at Music Hall, Riverbend, and other locales. And don’t forget the street festivals.

      • Tom Gray

        Summer in Cincinnati (to me) was the Reds and later WEBN Fireworks.

        In the fall, HS football. Bengals. UC and (back in the day) XU football.

        In the winter, Cincy Royals. UC and XU basketball.

        In the spring, here come the Reds for Opening Day.

        I hold fast to my opinion. Summer is boring in Cincinnati when the Reds suck.

      • Jay King

        Here are some destinations in and around Cincinnati that you can go to. I have a feeling your limiting yourself to sports only.

        Zoo
        Aquarium just across the river
        Several very nice Museums
        Kings Island
        Great Wolf Lodge
        Art Festival

        This is just naming a few and I have never lived in Cincinnati my entire life. Been there probably 20 times in my life though.

    • Chuck Schick

      While Marlon Byrd adds little value, your comments are important in that the Reds are stuck in a Catch 22….If they do what is necessary to become good ( become really bad) then attendance will drop off dramatically. They have modest local media revenue so attendance is far more important than many teams. Also, with the expiration of their cable deal next year and no viable alternative other than FSO, they likely will aim to be mediocre enough to draw 2 million and maintain reasonable TV ratings…..they are potentially stuck in baseball purgatory (70-80 wins)….you’re not good enough to compete and not bad enough to get better.

    • Michael E

      Byrd will NOT put one single fanny in a seat, so that argument is terrible. Do YOU plan on buying a ticket because “Marlon Byrd is starting in LF tonight!!!”

      • jdx19

        Byrd’s family tickets are probably being comp’d, unless he’s having his entire extended family come.

        I agree w/ the statement… Byrd will add zero dollars to ticket revenue.

      • Adam M. Singhoff

        There aren’t many single players in the majors that anyone would pay to go see. That statement as a whole is cliche and nonsensical. If I liked Mike Trout, and the Angels were surrounded by 7 Skip Schumakers with Elizardo Ramirez pitching, guess what? I wouldn’t go to the game.

        So forget every single one of these fairweather fans who say they won’t go if so and so gets traded. You can’t pander to people who probably only go to 1 or 2 games a year. You put together a winning team, plain and simple, and fans will come. This isn’t rocket science.

      • Joey

        Nice Elizardo Ramirez comment. Oh the early 2000’s, Luke Hudson, Ramon Ortiz, Brandon Claussen, that guy we got for trading Sean Casey, oh those pitching staffs were brutal.

      • Chuck Schick

        The point wasn’t that Byrd will put people in seats. He won’t.

        The point was the Reds need to maintain at least a semblance of mediocrity to hit 2 million fans and maintain decent ratings. Byrd is the perfect player for a team trying to win enough games to not totally suck. A team really building for the future would not have Byrd. The Reds are trying to rebuild and win enough games to stay relevant.

      • jdx19

        You do understand that there are hundreds of available players that will make less than $600K next year that can help the Reds win as many games as Byrd, right? They are called replacement level players, and they inhabit most teams AAA and AA affiliates. Above average homers with below average fielding and baserunning is not a winning recipe.

        You can keep attendance level without paying Marlon Byrd $8M. You just have to use you noggin’.

      • Chuck Schick

        I’m not the one who signed Marlon Byrd nor would I want to keep him. My points have been why he is still on the team and why he may be next year.

  3. vegastypo

    Marlon Byrd is representative of why I’m probably going to pass on seeing the Reds this year. My only real chance would be a game in San Diego. ….. When it became obvious that this team was not going to contend, I said I wasn’t going to give them my time/money in person unless they at least showed an interest in letting some kids get some playing time.

    Young pitchers are getting innings because there is nobody left, ditto for Suarez at short. But I’m having a hard time believing that there isn’t one guy in the organization who wouldn’t benefit from a ton of at-bats over the last month and a half who could play left field. Duvall, maybe? (I know he is inexperienced in the outfield, it ain’t like he would be replacing a defensive legend in Byrd.) Or maybe bring up two guys. See if anybody wants Schumaker on a waiver wire deal, too.

    • Tom Gray

      I saw one Reds game in 2015. Beat Pirates 7/30 by 15-5 score. Byrd hit HR.

    • lwblogger2

      I’m not sure that Duvall wouldn’t be considerably worse than Byrd in LF. Byrd is in fact an OF and Duvall is really a 1B who plays some 3B (poorly). If the guy can hit (and his BB% and K% don’t make me feel too warm and fuzzy) then the bat will play somewhere. Perhaps it will play in LF. I’d rather see a guy like Rodriguez or Waldrop out there though if the Reds were going to make a change this year. I think Duvall can misplay balls in L’ville’s LF for this season.

    • jdx19

      As a Reds fan, you gotta go see Votto!

      That’s the only reason I spent $100 to go to Denver to see the Reds a few weeks back. Thankfully, I was blessed to see Johnny Cueto’s last Reds start. It was quite a fun game. I’m glad I went.

  4. Tom

    I agree with Steve that the Reds should let Byrd go; if they can’t get something for him, releasing him is the best move. I like the idea of giving some players a shot who have some chance at helping the team in 2016-17.

    How about letting Brendan Boesch get daily playing time in left, and seeing if his production hits a decent level? When seeing that he put up big numbers in the PCL last year, I didn’t care much because it is such a hitter-friendly league. When he put up big numbers in spring training, I didn’t get too warm a feeling because – well, it’s ST. But I thought when they put him on the ML roster that they would at least play him and give him a chance to stay hot, but others (Byrd, Skip, even Dominguez) got the AB’s. Now he has returned to AAA in a much less hitter-friendly league and put up good numbers, even walking occasionally. I’d rather see him called up and see if he translates any of it if given everyday AB’s. If not, the only loss is that he took up AB’s that could have gone to another long-shot.

    Otherwise, or additionally, I’d like to see the Reds re-claim Heisey. He’s an upgrade to our bench (although I wish that weren’t true).

    • Tom Gray

      Duvall put up big numbers in PCL this year. Some Reds fan are clamoring for him.

      • Tom

        I like that much better than leaving Byrd out there.

      • Tom Gray

        Gotta learn LF first. He is primarily 1B. His defense has been his Achilles Heel.

    • User1022

      Boesch will be 31 shortly after opening day next season. If he hasn’t figured out how to hit ML pitching by this point, I would say there is an extremely minuscule chance of that happening now. He, like Byrd, has no future with this team, so giving ABs to him would be equally pointless.

      • Tom

        A tiny bit less pointless, perhaps, and a million $ cheaper?

      • User1022

        The only reason I’d give Boesch ABs at this stage is if there is literally no one else to do it.

        If the Reds can somehow shed Byrd and they have no one else in the system worthy of ABs in LF, then by all means, stick Boesch out there while we all contemplate how it came to that.

    • earmbrister

      Tom — How can you say that you “like the idea of giving some players a shot who have some chance at helping the team in 2016-17″ while saying the Reds should let Bryd go, only to say that they should reclaim Heisey? The last time Heisey had (for instance) an OPS+ above 90(!!!) was 2011. Yeah, he’d be much better than Byrd. No worries, he’s available.

      As for Byrd, I don’t get why it would a ” folly of enormous magnitude for the Reds to allow Byrd’s 2016 contract to become guaranteed.” The well thought out alternative is shooting the money into the sun … On second thought Tom, your Heisey alternative is not unreasonable.

      • Tom

        I said Heisey would improve our bench, which is true (unfortunately).

      • earmbrister

        Heisey was awful in 2013, even worse in 2014, and abysmal in 2015 (which led to his DFA).

        Heisey is not the answer, unless the question is “name a player who once was average ish and who has now been dreadful for several seasons”.

  5. Art Wayne Austin

    Byrd can play the three outfield positions, has a lethal bat, runs the bases well. Who is the alternative for left field?

    • Tom

      See above: Boesch, Duvall, YRod (future), Winker (future)

      • Tom Gray

        Duvall is primarily 1B but learning LF at Louisville. Boesch is outhitting him there.

    • Tom

      I’d beg to differ on the ‘lethal’ part of the bat for Marlon. Among all qualified left fielders in all of MLB (not just the NL), Byrd has the absolute lowest BA and OBP. His power adds enough to the numbers to put him at 13th out of 19 (per Yahoo Sports; and a couple of the folks below him, like Revere, are actually good field/no hit center fielders who have played left at times) among FT left fielders, his hitting is well below the mean and the median.

      • Tom Gray

        Compared to other Reds options for 2015 in LF, his bat is quite lethal.

        BA and OBP ain’t what he brings to the plate. HR and RBI (power) are.

      • Anthony

        Hey Tom, Byrd will get 30 HR and end up with 70 Rbi.
        The funny thing is, if Bruce,p ena and Frazier got on base more, he’ll have about 60 Rbis about now.

        Good ole Cincinnati fans. Never appreciate any body but the Chris Heisey’s of the world.

      • jdx19

        Anthony…

        Bruce, Pena, and Frazier are all getting on base at above-average rates. Would you like them to all be Votto level before you admit that Byrd just isn’t that good of a hitter?

        Pretty arrogant statement, as well… Why should we appreciate an aging, expensive, below-average player? Seems precisely the kind of guy NOT to appreciate, but to count your lucky stars that there is still a chance he won’t be on the team next year.

    • Michael E

      DOES NOT MATTER Art, we aren’t contending and winning now is USELESS. We need to lose more than we win, move up the draft pick ladder a few rungs and get ready for next year by trading some flotsam (some of the under-performing vets).

  6. Eric the Red

    I’m starting to think the Reds actually want his option to vest. But let’s say it doesn’t. What do you think he signs for next year, with the Reds or anyone else?

    • Tom Gray

      Wherever he signs IF he does, probably $1 million with lots of performance bonuses to bring it up $2 or $3 million more.

    • Vicferrari

      Does it seem to be a really jerk thing to try to intentionally make his miss the goal? If he gets anywhere near 500 in early September and they are intentionally sitting him, then that is just shallow…Sit him now and do not let him get close if that is your intention…if he is at 530 the last week of the season that would have to just feel like someone is stealing 8 million dollars if they will not play him.

      • Anthony

        That’s stupid. Other players via their agents will spread word like wildfire that the reds intentionally sat him to save money. It takes a shallow team to do that. It’s bad practice. You already can’t sign top talent via the draft or free agency.Do what you’re suggesting and see what happens.

      • lwblogger2

        Yes, if the team starts sitting him with the clear intent of now allowing his option to vest, that’s a bush league move as far as what other players and agents will think. I think it’s rather important that his option doesn’t vest but the Reds need to do it in such a way that they have a legitimate excuse for not playing him as much. A younger guy knocking on the door that they called up and played most every day would be a great one. The best bet would be to try to move him or let him be claimed on waivers.

      • Michael

        There is no difference either way you do it. They can sit him an extra game a week now or just bench him in September. Either way, everyone, including him, knows why they are not playing him. He is the best option for LF on this team presently. Price is managing for his job so unless he has a better option, Byrd will play.

      • jdx19

        Here’s what I’d say:

        “Marlon. You have been a below-average player this year. I’m sitting you.”

        Not sure why he needs more explanation than that. These are big boys with millions in the bank. I think their feelings won’t get hurt.

    • Michael E

      I won’t even think about where Byrd signs. He’ll be hitting 39 years old and probably a platoon or bench player next year.

      • Anthony

        And still better than any reds left fielder. @ 39 years old.

      • jdx19

        I think Jesse Winker would put up more WAR than Marlon Byrd next year on walks, defense, and base running alone.

        Sure, 25 HRs are nice, but what about those other FIVE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE plate appearances?

        Homers alone don’t make a player. Byrd is a 1-trick pony who is middling, at best, for his single trick. With any sort of brain, there are dozens of players who would be just as valuable as Byrd in left next year and cost a fraction of the price.

  7. why oh why

    I was not for Byrd’s signing in the off season but I’ve been impressed by how much he still has left in the tank this year. He’d by a nice get for a contending team. That being said, he makes absolutely no sense for the Reds if we have to pay him $8m/yr. He doesn’t put fans in the seats by himself and who cares if he hits 20 home runs next year in a division we have 0 chance of competing in?

  8. peter ponds

    They have to let Byrd go.

    Even if I value his veteran presence in a mostly young team with veterans (except perhaps Frazier) clearly not assuming that role and Byrd performing above expectancies to what some called for a disaster when he was signed, that money should be used somewhere else.

    If next season is all about getting experience for the pitchers and growing pains, then platoon Yrod/Waldrop, perhaps Duvall or some other kid.

    • MrRed

      Spend a lot of time around the clubhouse and with the individual players, I take it? I mean how else could you know who on this team has a “veteran presence”? I agree with your sentiment though that the money should be spent elsewhere and hopefully, it will.

      • peter ponds

        I have as much as you, certainly. But if you read what the Reds’ GM said in the offseason about “veteran presence” and what he expected Byrd would bring to the table in that regard, perhaps it would not take too much of a genius to make the math, or would it?

    • Victor Vollhardt

      Byrd is being paid 8 mil. for this year with the Phillies picking up half of that, but only for this year. They won’t pay anything against next year’s 8 mil. (if it is allowed to vest 550 AB). If the Reds wouldn’t pay more than 4mil. for 2015–they sure as heck won’t pay more than that for 2016. However in this day and age at 4.mil. Byrd has given good value-he hits-hits for power and hustles all the time. I believe he will go to a contending team before August 31 , but I could also see the Reds entering into a agreement to bring him back next year at some lower salary (guaranteed)—remember the Reds could stop playing him at anytime or even release him and if nobody wants him –he would would be at the mercy of the marketplace for the balance of this year and next. Byrd’s camp might look at 2 to 3 mil. bird in hand (no pun intended) as better than an 8.mil. in the bush. and that type of deal might even be a good value for the Reds.

  9. Evan armstrong

    If next season is a throw away season then I don’t see that big of a deal of keeping Byrd given 8 million isn’t that much in today’s game I don’t see the big deal in keeping him.

    • DavidTurner49

      With all due respect, did you read the article?

      Byrd seems best suited as an AL dh/extra outfielder.

      • Evan armstrong

        And maybe at some point next season you deal him to a AL team but right now don’t see any negative if he comes back.

      • Steve Mancuso

        You keep saying “don’t see any negative” ignoring the $8 million opportunity cost of bringing him back.

    • Steve Mancuso

      The roster spot that could be used for someone who might provide positive value or give experience to develop a young player. The money that could be used for something else. Seems like the question is better put the other way: If next season is throw away, why pay $8 million to a 38-year-old player with no positive value?

      • Evan armstrong

        I think you discount the value of having a veteran on the team, plus what young talent do you see ready for that level next season. You can alwaysove him next season if a young player emerges at some point but I don’t see it at this point.

      • Steve Mancuso

        They’ll have plenty of veterans. Byrd hasn’t proven to have much veteran value on his previous teams. It’s like throwing $8 million away, thinking, hey we can always trade him. Just let him go and use the $8 million to sign a player(s) with value.

      • Evan armstrong

        What leads u to believe Walt would find a better option for his money?

      • jdx19

        Because there are dozens of better options available. All he has to do is look and pick up the phone.

    • Michael E

      If it is a throw away season, all the MORE reason to not pay Byrd and to not roll his old hind end out there taking away starts from a rookie that NEEDS the experience to be ready to contribute by 2017.

      • Evan armstrong

        Who is this young player ready to make that move? Right now I don’t see it and don’t see why we should rush someone.

  10. Adam M. Singhoff

    I’m not a fan of Byrd, hated the trade. Hate his low obp. Hate his defense. Hate the fact that all of his numbers will only get lower next year. But out or respect for Byrd, he has essentially been worth $6.3 million this year (using bWar) while only costing the Reds $4 mil + Lively.

    As far as next year, who fills that spot? Byrd isn’t my choice, but i have yet to hear any suggestions. And I’m already tired of the Suarez speculation because that would assume that Cozart is fully recovered. And Suarez isn’t exactly a prototypical LF hitter, he is a top of the line SS hitter. On top of that, Cozart would have to (once again) prove to be a serviceable major league hitter, post-injury. I would think that he is the odd man out next year, and spends the year as a defensive replacement with pop that is working his way back.

  11. Anthony

    Be careful reds fans. This type of backwards thinking as if its your money, is what got the reds where they are today. Remember when you though replacing dusty Baker was the answer? Lol. How did that workout for you?

    There is nobody in the reds system unfortunately that can out play Byrd. Nobody. But hey, you got the guy who was supposed to be smarter than Baker. Lol.

    • jdx19

      Cool sample size of one. Also, fantastic logic.

      Brian Price is a bad manager, therefore, the Reds should spend $8M on a below-average left fielder.

  12. redsfan06

    The Reds would be foolish to let Byrd get enough PA to allow his 2016 option to vest.

    The Cubs kept Bryant off the roster at the beginning of the season so they could get an extra year of service out of him before he reaches free agency. If the Cubs could do that for a player they intend to be one of the building blocks of their team for the next 6 years, the Reds can keep Byrd’s option from vesting without being considered miserly.

    Byrd won’t get $8 million on the open market. Even if the Reds want to bring him back next year, they can sign him for less. While I would like to see the Reds give some younger players a shot in LF next year, having Byrd on the team for $4 million again gives them a decent bat for a 4th OF/bench player. It doesn’t make sense at $8 million.

    • ncmountie1

      Exactly REDSfan. WJ signed him 2 years 2 late IMO. Wasn’t it 2013 when we needed a bat and Bryrd was available and Walt let him go to the Bucs? Make sure he doesn’t vest, bring him back for $1-$2M off bench in 2016 and try to sign someone like Cespedes during off-season until the youngsters are ready.

      • lwblogger2

        Cespedes is going to sign a large, multi-year deal. He’s not a stopgap kind of signing for any team.

      • Ncmountie1

        He made $36M over 4 years last time. He’ll be 31 next season. Will he get much more than that? Could be 4 years before we have OF off farm. WHY not Reds? (thought I get its not been done ).

      • lwblogger2

        I think you’ll be surprised. That first deal was coming out of Cuba when he was more an unknown. He isn’t going to get the kind of deal that Heyward is going to get, but he’ll get a pretty large one.

  13. Anthony

    Be careful reds fans. This type of backwards thinking as if its your money, is what got the reds where they are today. Remember when you though replacing dusty Baker was the answer? Lol. How did that workout for you?

    There is nobody in the reds system unfortunately that can out play Byrd. Nobody.

    • Tom

      Anthony,
      You are missing the point. For $8 million the Reds could sign someone who would improve the team more than Marlon. He’s not a bad guy. I don’t dislike him. I dislike the potential allocation of those dollars for that production.

      p.s. This is a board for thoughtful and interesting conversation. Please head to a different site if you want to rip on posters and/or Reds fans. Thanks.

  14. Hammer

    I would rather see them let Byrd walk or trade him before the waiver deadline than see him in left field next year. $8mil would go a long way in finding a bullpen arm that could hold a lead. Put Yorman out there and see if he can handle it since he needs to be on the roster next year anyways. Or Waldrop. I would rather see what we have in some of these prospects since this year, and possibly 2017, is a lost cause anyways.

  15. redslam

    Until he hits 550 after the deadline, it is hard to argue with use of him atm. I agree we should have “better positioned” his AB for trading at the deadline(s), but given that the manager is trying to win as many games as possible, I don’t fault Price too much for using him as much as possible. Sadly, he is probably our best of a bad bunch of options.

    He has been worth it THIS year. If the team somehow contrives to trigger the 8 million (I was thinking all along it was 4 million and perhaps contemplating triggering it being non-insane), that is absolutely management malpractice of the highest order for a team like the Reds.

    I will wait and see here… I have to simply assume we are biding our time and at some point will look to give some of the youngsters more opportunities (Winker, Yorman, et al.) to give them experience in the big leagues, ensuring Byrd doesn’t “vest.”

    Interestingly, it somewhat puts the manager and GM in a “conflict of interest” situation, doesn’t it?

  16. Kevin Patrick

    My 7 year old autistic son adores Byrd. He tries to imitate his batting stance. His world hinges on how the Reds do everyday… While this is a rough year to be a die hard, Byrd has been one of the highlights for this team. Me personally, I have no problem paying a player what they deserve to earn… what was arranged to be earned. I think the Reds get credibility with players when they don’t try to screw them out of a few million… especially when they aren’t even playing too bad at all!

    • jdx19

      “What was arranged to be earned.”

      It wasn’t arranged for Byrd to earn that extra $8M. He had to get 550 PAs, which was contingent on a certain leven of health and production. He’s been decent at the plate, and bad in the field and on the bases. That all adds up to a guy who isn’t worth the $8M and a roster spot next year.

      Business is business, and the business is winning. Marlon does not help the Reds win baseball games with enough proficiency to warrant such an investment. The man is a millionaire and will never work a day in his life. The Reds don’t owe him anything.

  17. Redgoggles

    Overall, I’ve been impressed with Byrd especially since the bar was set so low here. I do think his value would play better in the AL as a DH. He still has offensive value, which is in short supply on the market. Does anyone know if the 550 PA include post season? If so, Reds are shooting themselves in the foot by playing him now.

  18. lwblogger2

    It is my understanding that when the Reds aquired Byrd, the Phillies sent the Reds $4-million in cash to offset some of Byrd’s salary. This makes Byrd effectively a $4-million player for the Reds. For a claiming team however, I believe they’d be on the hook for the prorated amount of Byrd’s $8-million, as that’s his actual salary. That’s about $2.3-million, which isn’t a drop in the bucket and is significantly higher than the commitment in terms of salary, stated in the post that a claiming team would need to take on.

    So, a question: Am I correct in this or are the Phillies literally writing checks to the Reds and/or Byrd to pay half his salary? I believe the Reds have already claimed that cash and it isn’t tied to Byrd once that trade was approved by the commissioner. If that’s the case, the Reds got the $4-million already and a claiming team would be responsible for what’s left of Byrd’s $8-million salary.

    • ncmountie1

      LWBlog-you are correct. Reds got $4M in cash & Byrd for an $8M contract. I guess it depends how that $8M is earned out–over season or over a year? Assuming over a season, which would make it $1.33 M a month or about $2M left. I think the bigger issue is that the Reds could be on the hook for $8M in 2016 if he vests….heaven help them if that’s case.

      • lwblogger2

        Yes, that option really doesn’t need to vest if the Reds can avoid it without looking like they are doing it on purpose. Best would be to move him.

  19. Kevin Michell

    To be honest, Steve, I think the fact that the math you lead the article off with shows that Byrd would have to start in all but one of the Reds’ remaining games demonstrate the Reds have actually handled this issue perfectly well.

    That is to say, I’ll get a Yadier Molina neck tattoo if Marlon Byrd actually starts every one of the next 52 games. They wouldn’t do that even if there were a potentially vesting option.

    • Kevin Michell

      Apologies. *weren’t a potentially vesting option.

      Also, demonstrate is supposed to be plural. This is my Monday grammar

    • jdx19

      I went from not wanting Byrd to get to 550 to WANTING Byrd to get to 550.

      Neck tattoos for everyone!!

    • Steve Mancuso

      The PA/G of 3.78 assumes days off. Byrd averaged that many PA/G playing in 85 of 92 games, starting 83 and sitting in 9. So that estimate is based on the assumption of the remaining 54 games (now) that Byrd will only play in 49 of them and sit 5. So if the Reds keep playing him in 9 of 10 games, he’ll be just over 550.

  20. jamesgarret

    Byrd is not or should be part of the future.Its serves no purpose for him to even play in my opinon.We are just playing out the season so when the rosters are expanded he should not see the field.Hopefully he clears waivers and we trade him.If not just release him.Byrd is a vet that’s been there and done that and knows the drill.

  21. redslam

    I still think he is probably our best option at LF, sad to say… which means the manager is motivated to play him in order to get the most possible wins and save his job. This is where the GM needs to step in and pull rank, but honestly it isn’t really an issue at this point until 549 (unless you believe that sends an obnoxious message to players overall).

    If there is truly a “reasonably close” LF prospect, it might be nice to give him some AB at the end of the season.

    Overall, perhaps it could have been handled better perhaps, but as long as we don’t get stuck with him next year at $8 million, that is fine as far as I am concerned.

  22. big5ed

    I am with Kevin Michell on this. Not even Walt Jocketty is dense enough to let that extra year vest.

    The Reds do have the ability to give Byrd less than 550 PAs, and then to resign him as a free agent for a lot less than $8mm. I am not advocating that, but he is still decent enough against lefties, where he could help somebody, even the Reds, if they had a LH hitter to platoon in left-field with him. If the Reds wanted a left-field platoon, though, I would use Mesoraco against lefites instead of Byrd, and let Mes catch most of the other games.

    I believe, however, that Winker will be called up next year in the same fashion as the Cubs did with Kris Bryant. In fact, I think Winker is both Plan A and Plan B in left field.

    • ncmountie1

      Pretty big gap between minor league production with Bryant & Winker–Bryant hit almost 100 pts higher at AA than Winker is (.355./.264). Bryant also crushed AAA at .295. IMO Winker is a year or 2 away but you’re probably correct that is WJ’s plan.

  23. Earl Nash

    Kind of surprised the Reds haven’t put him on waivers, I’d think Byrd would be a handy bat for a club off the bench in a playoff chase if nothing else.

  24. Earl Nash

    That said, I do like the guy as a player. Byrd is a pro and had a very nice late career.

    Byrd would have definitely been handy in the stretch run of 2013.

  25. Anthony

    8 million and I don’t care. He’s potentially the best thing coming off the bench next year. Also if the reds keep Bruce, I like the idea of Bruce looking over his shoulder. I also like the platoon of byrd+Bruce.

  26. Handy

    The Reds agreed to give up one of their better pitching prospects when the Phillies agreed to include money to cover some of Byrd’s salary. Any questions?