Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/12/13
The Philadelphia Phillies have gone cheap in their search for an outfielder, inking former Met and Pirate Marlon Byrd to a two-year deal. Terms are currently unknown, though Adam Rubin of ESPN New York had a source tell him that Byrd would make $16 million over the two years. Byrd had a fantastic bounce back year in 2013, hitting .291/.336/.511 with 24 homers in 579 plate appearances split between the Mets and Pirates. Against lefties, Byrd hit .344/.376/.583, which could set him up nicely in a platoon with Darin Ruf, who struggled against southpaws in 2013. There's still a substantial bit of risk with Byrd, and a two-year contract does nothing to alleviate those risks. Byrd turned 36 at the end of August and had far and away the best season of his career. He was coming off of a disastrous 2012 where Byrd hit just .210/.243/.245 in 153 plate appearances for the Cubs and Red Sox, getting slapped with a 50 game PED suspension in the process. Byrd's rebound year in 2013 was spurred by a career-best .220 ISO, a .353 BABIP, and a 16.4% HR/FB that was nearly double his career mark of 9.3%. He also struck out in nearly 25% of his plate appearances, a career-worst mark. However, it's not all bad news: Byrd did post his lowest ground ball rate since 2005 and walked at his highest rate since 2008. If used properly, Byrd could be a solid signing for the Phillies. But if he's not used correctly by Ryne Sandberg and things begin to fall apart for him, this could get ugly. [follow]

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

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