Marlon Byrd may have only been traded four times in his career, but it seems like he’s on the move every July or August. In 2013, Byrd was a key piece in a waiver trade between the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets that helped the Pirates snap a streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons and make the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Could another team acquire Byrd for a similar run in 2015?
The Baltimore Orioles would like to trade for an outfielder, though they may be scared by the $8 million option in his contract that would vest for 2016 if he reached 550 plate appearances this season. That’s a lot of money for a would-be 38-year old outfielder that has hit .240/.292/.460 this year. However, because Byrd has hit 19 homers thus far, he’s still got value.
The Twins and Rays would also like to add an outfield bat, but they would be even more hesitant to take on Byrd’s contract. The Los Angeles Angels, despite adding three outfielders through trades in July, could still use an offensive upgrade there or at designated hitter, which makes them an intriguing option.
Of course, Byrd isn’t the only Red that could be sent out of town soon. Second baseman Brandon Phillips, though expensive with $27 million due through 2017, would be a valuable piece for a contending club looking for an offensive upgrade in the middle infield. As luck would have it, the Angels could use an upgrade at second base too. If they would be willing to part with a few quality prospects and pick up the majority of Byrd’s and Phillips’ contracts, we could have a rare August blockbuster.
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