Found August 28, 2013 on
Boston Red Sox
New York Mets
Marlon Byrd had been in the Pittsburgh Pirates' clubhouse for all of five minutes when the newly acquired right fielder found his name penciled in as the cleanup hitter Wednesday night against Milwaukee.
Asked if he was surprised about being thrown into the lineup so quickly, the 12-year veteran the Pirates hope will help ignite a sagging offense just smiled.
''Of course I'm going to play,'' Byrd said, laughing. ''That's why I'm here.''
Besides, time is running out. For Byrd and the Pirates both.
Pittsburgh brought in Byrd and reserve catcher John Buck from the New York Mets on Tuesday believing their presence will help the franchise to its first playoff berth in 21 years. That's fine by the two newcomers, who have played a combined 2,269 games in their respective careers. None of those games, however, have come in the postseason.
It's why Byrd didn't complain when New York general manager Sandy Alderson called him early Tuesday morning and told him he headed to Pittsburgh. The timing proved to be a bit awkward. The trade was announced hours before the Mets gave away thousands of Marlon Byrd T-shirts as part of a promotion.
And no, Byrd hasn't gotten his hands on one yet. It's a small sacrifice for the chance to go from a team pointing toward the future to one pointing toward October.
''The (Mets) did me a favor,'' Byrd said, ''by putting me with a contender.''
Now Byrd hopes to pay it forward by continuing his resurgent season for a city looking to end two decades of futility.
Pittsburgh entered play Wednesday trailing St. Louis by 1 1/2 games in the race for the NL Central title, remarkable considering the Pirates are 24th in the majors in team batting average and next to last in batting average with runners in scoring position.
Byrd can ease some of the pressure on Pittsburgh's pitching staff by remaining in the groove he's been riding most of the season. The well-traveled Byrd, who turns 36 on Friday, is hitting .285 with 21 home runs and 71 RBIs, reviving a career that seemed in trouble when he batted just .210 with one home run in 47 games with the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox in 2012.
Realizing he needed to figure out some things if he wanted to stay employed, Byrd spent time in California and Mexico in the offseason working on his swing. Months of tinkering have led to Byrd discovering his own Fountain of Youth.
''You have to be willing to listen,'' Byrd said. ''I could've been stubborn and hardheaded and said I know what I need to do, but I saw that it wasn't working and it was time to change.''
Byrd's presence gives the Pirates the punch they've lacked in right field, where Garrett Jones, Alex Presley, Jose Tabata and Travis Snider have struggled to provide offense with any sense of consistency.
That hasn't been a problem this season for Byrd, who has hit .294 since May 1.
''I like the way he plays the game,'' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ''He's kept his body in great shape and he's had success before. ... He fits us and we fit him.''
The expectations aren't quite so high for Buck, who will serve as the primary backup behind Russell Martin. While Buck is hitting just .215, he has 15 homers and 60 RBIs.
''The hits I am getting are coming with guys on base,'' Buck said.
That's all the Pirates need as they try to keep pace with the Cardinals and the Reds. The new arrivals gave the clubhouse a needed jolt in the final days of August, though both players stress they're not the answer.
Byrd narrowly missed the playoffs in 2003 with Philadelphia and in 2009 with Texas. He's determined not to let it happen again.
''You never know when you have a chance to play in the postseason,'' he said. ''This is my one chance. I'm just going to grasp it and embrace it and enjoy the whole thing.''
NOTES: To make room on the 25-man roster, the Pirates optioned C Tony Sanchez and All-Star LHP Jeff Locke to Double-A Altoona. Locke has struggled since being named to the All-Star team in July and is 1-2 with a 6.18 ERA in the second half. General manager Neal Huntington said Locke will take a ''short break'' and will be recalled when Altoona's season ends next week ... The Pirates completed the trade to New York by sending RHP Vic Black to the Mets. The 25-year-old Black made three relief appearances this year for Pittsburgh. The Pirates shipped minor league infielder Dilson Herrera to New York when the deal was announced Tuesday.
Follow Will Graves at www.twitter.com/WillGravesAP
BEST OF MAXIM
As they say, timing is everything! The New York Mets timing has been off all year, this time as they dealt OF Marlon Byrd to the Pittsburgh Pirates on the SAME DAY they planned to give away T-shirts to fans in his honor. According to Ted Berg of “For the Win” (via USA Today), “Let it Fly” Marlon Byrd themed jerseys were poised for distribution as part of the Mets “T...
New York Mets outfielder Marlon Byrd has been claimed on waivers giving the team 48 hours to trade the 35-year-old.
While Byrd is inexpensive he will be a free agent at seasons end which may prompt the Mets to trade him. Previously the Mets had been reluctant to part with Byrd considering him a valuable piece of their team.
In 117 games this season Byrd is hitting .285/.330/.518...
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Marlon Byrd has been claimed off waivers by an unknown team.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that Marlon Byrd has been claimed on waivers by an unknown team, and that the New York Mets could try and trade him. Yesterday we heard a similar report on Kendrys Morales. The difference here is that Byrd is in the NL, which means he only has to pass about 12-13 teams to get to the Pirates...
Adam Rubin does it again…
The Mets have sent cash, John Buck and Marlon Byrd to the Pittsburgh Pirates for 19-year-old Single-A SS Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later, according to ESPN New York.
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The Mets have traded John Buck and Marlon Byrd and cash considerations to the Pittsburgh Pirates for 19-year-old Single-A second baseman Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later, according to ESPN New York.
Herrera is the 20th best prospect in the Pirates minor leagues according to Baseball America and 11th best according to MiLB.com who also ranked him just behind Wilmer...
Born: August 30, 1977
Drafted: 10th Round, 306th Overall, 1999 (Phillies)
How Acquired: Trade from Mets (with John Buck for Dilson Herrera and PTBNL)
College: Georgia Perimeter College
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
Byrd has had an odd career. He hit consistently...
10:00 AM Update
Adam Rubin heard through the grapevine that Marlon Byrd was claimed off waivers.
The Mets can either pull him back or work out a deal with that one team.
8:30 AM Update
Among the candidates to be traded are catcher John Buck, outfielder Marlon Byrd and left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano. A source with knowledge of the Mets’ plans added that major...
According to his sources, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York is reporting that the Mets plan to promote left-hander Robert Carson and outfielder Matt den Dekker to the majors from Triple-A Las Vegas. And although none of these moves have been officially announced.as of yet, Anthony Recker is also believed to be joining the group as well.
One spot will be opened with Matt Harvey soon...
Prohibitively, the addition of Marlon Byrd makes the Pittsburgh Pirates a better baseball team. Had Byrd been on the Pirates’ roster all season, he’d essentially be the third-best hitter on the team.
And, the Pirates may own three or four extra wins if he started 2013 in Pittsburgh with his WAR of 3.5. In contrast, the production received from right field this season from the...
Earlier today, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reported that Mets outfielder Marlon Byrd had been claimed on waivers. It turns out the Pittsburgh Pirates had claimed him and hey did not claim Byrd to block him from other teams.
Adam Rubin is now reporting that the Mets have traded outfielder Marlon Byrd, catcher John Buck and cash to the Pirates. The Mets received minor-league second...
The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck from the New York Mets.
Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington announced the deal on Tuesday afternoon. The Pirates will send New York minor league infielder Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later in exchange for two veterans Pittsburgh hopes will help the franchise to its first playoff...
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