May 14, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds left fielderMarlon Byrd
(L) hits a solo home run in the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Great American Ball Park. The Reds won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Thirty-seven year old Cincinnati Reds outfielder Marlon Byrd has become something of a cut-and-paste guy (at least in terms of trade rumor lists) ever since his career resurgence in 2013.
While in the midst of a .291/.336/.511 season in 2013, the Mets dealt him to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a deadline deal. After signing with the Phillies in 2014, he again featured in a lot of deadline deal rumors, except Philadelphia GM Ruben Amaro inexplicably held on to him (and Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, and Jimmy Rollins).
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Once again having a useful season (.245/.300/.467 with 14 home runs) for a team falling out of contention, Marlon Byrd is appearing in deadline deal rumors for the third straight year.
While Byrd hits right-handed, and has been a negative defender the last two seasons, he can fill a corner outfield spot while giving his team some pop. He wouldn’t be an ideal replacement for Alex Gordon, but at 37—and on a one-year contract—he would be cheap.
That is, of course, if Cincinnati decides to sell. At 38-44, and seven games out of the second N.L. wild card, the Reds find themselves caught in no-mans-land between bad enough to sell and good enough to dream.
The problem is that the Reds are looking at a long-rebuilding road ahead if they cut bait this season and become a seller. Taking one last shot at the post-season has to be tempting for general manager Walt Jocketty, while he still has Johnny Cueto, Jay Bruce, and Brandon Phillips.
Jocketty can’t really hope to win the Central while trailing the high-flying Cardinals by 15.5 games, and the Pirates by 11.5. Even so, ace Johnny Cueto and closer Aroldis Chapman could make the Reds far more of a threat in a short series than they pose during the regular season.
Next: Conclusion: Don't Expect Dayton Moore To Spend Big