Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Phillies Sign Marlon Byrd

Earlier today, the Phillies christened the off-season by signing former Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd to a two-year deal worth $16 million. Byrd, age 36 is coming off a "career year" where he hit 24 home runs and had 88 RBI. That's pretty good production for a 36 year old guy like Byrd but considering that 2013 was his best season and he hasn't had too many seasons similar to that and questions have been raised as to whether this signing was worth it. For a team that might be a small piece away from being contenders I would say yes this is a good signing but since the Phillies have so many holes in their roster, I do not see his being that good of a signing. Is Marlon Byrd an upgrade over what they have in right field right now? Yes he is, but it isn't a huge upgrade. I think Phillies fans were hoping for the Phillies front office to sign a big name right fielder such as Nelson Cruz, but who's to say they are done in the outfield? There is still a possibility that the Phillies could look to sign a player like Nelson Cruz because they know that Marlon Byrd is not the long term solution in right field but I highly doubt that Marlon Byrd would sign a deal like that to be the fourth outfielder especially after coming off of a 24 home run, 88 RBI season.

I cannot say I like this move cause there is nothing to like. Byrd had a good 2013 season there is no doubting that but if you look at his track record from seasons prior to 2013 he is extremely inconsistent. 2013 he had a 4.1 WAR, 2012 he was -1.0, 2011 was 1.8. Chances are Byrd will have one decent season with the Phillies and have one horrendous season. The signing of Byrd isn't necessarily a high risk or low risk signing. Considering that the Phillies are coming off of two seasons where they missed the playoffs, there is probably more pressure on Ruben Amaro Jr. to have a good off-season and make good signings and from the naked eye Marlon Byrd does not seem like a good season and if signings like this do not work out this year Amaro could be looking down the barrel of a gun. Hopefully not. Best case scenario is that Byrd plays between a 2.5-3.5 WAR player for the next two years. Worst case scenario is that he becomes another Delmon Young. We'll have to wait and see.

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