by Will Overton
It almost took until the end of August, but we finally have a waiver trade worth talking about. Let’s take a look at what went down:
According to MLB.com beat writer for the New York Mets, Anthony DiComo: John Buck, Marlon Byrd and cash considerations are headed to Pittsburgh in exchange for minor league shortstop Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later.
The Pirates were certainly in need of an extra bat if they want to keep up with the big boys in October, and surprisingly Marlon Byrd fits the bill for that so far this season. Let’s take a look at Byrd’s season numbers so far:
Marlon Byrd: .285 AVG, 61 R, 21 HR, 72 RBI
At 35 years old Byrd is having a career year, already reaching a new career high total in homeruns with another month to go in the season. A big part of that can be explained by an increased fly ball rate, 8% higher than his career average.
While it’s certainly possible that the power could tail off if that changes, I don’t see a real reason to believe it will. Only a third of Byrd’s HR’s have come at home while the other 14 were hit on the road. Also consider this, Byrd’s batting average away from Citi Field is .318. So really there is a feasible chance that Byrd gets better in Pittsburgh. He’s worth owning in any five outfielder format.
The ripple down effect is that Byrd will likely take over full time right field duties which will push Garrett Jones to first base and a time share with Gaby Sanchez. That could really make both of those hard to roster in any league outside of NL Only unless one pulls away.
As for Buck, I’d probably take a pass. He was good in April, but has been abysmal ever since and he’ll be nothing more than a backup catcher to Russell Martin and a power bat off the bench. It does make the already appealing Travis D’Arnaud even more appealing as he should see everyday AB’s.
The prospect coming back to New York is a 19 year old shortstop Dilson Herrera. He was ranked by MLB.COM as the Pirates #11 prospect before the season. He’s shown a nice speed/power combo so far with 11 HR’s and 11 SB’s so far at single A. He has a few years to go before he’ll be ready for the big time, but there is some long term appeal here for dynasty league owners.
So long story short, you want Byrd if he’s actually available. Garrett Jones is at risk of losing value. You want to pass on John Buck. If you play in a dynasty league take a look at Herrera because there is some legitimate talent upside there.