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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Report: Phillies signing Marlon Byrd to two-year deal

A Marlon Anderson signing cannot be too far off.

The Phillies are reportedly about to sign Pirates outfielder Marlon Byrd, according to 94 WIP.

Byrd, originally drafted by the Phillies, made his big league debut with them in 2002. After several bottoming out years, Byrd hit .291 this season with an .847 OPS at 35 years old.

In late August, the Mets were about to hold Marlon Byrd t-shirt night, in appreciation of the 35-year-old slugger’s somewhat surprising offensive output on the year. They then traded Byrd to the Pirates, hours beforehand. He adapted well to the change, aiding the Bucs during their playoff run, hitting .318 and going 8-for-22 in the playoffs.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 12, 2013 at 11:44 AM | 45 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agents, marlon byrd, phillies

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   1. eddieot Posted: November 12, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4598718)
Oh Ruben, you predictable SOB.
   2. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 12, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4598719)
I may be the only person who lived in KC during the "only 2 Jermaines in baseball history" and in Philly during the "only 2 Marlons in baseball history" eras.

Yet another jump-the-gun and overpay Amaro move.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 12, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4598724)
Byrd performed well for the Pirates and seems like a nice guy. I wouldn't have wanted to commit to him for two years, given that Polanco's almost ready, but I'm glad that he got a pretty decent payday and I'll remember him fondly.
   4. Sonic Youk Posted: November 12, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4598728)
Seems like only yesterday than Byrd was too washed up for the worst Red Sox team in a generation
   5. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: November 12, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4598729)
If Marlon Byrd is still an everyday player by August, I will eat my shoe.
   6. RJ in TO Posted: November 12, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4598730)
It's only two years, and only $8M a year, so it's not like they can get all that badly burned by this signing, but this still seems like a mistake.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 12, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4598732)
#6 kinda gets at it, but its not the money that will hurt the Phils, its the opportunity cost and the potential 500-800 PAs they're going to give him that they could have used on someone better.
   8. The District Attorney Posted: November 12, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4598733)
I dunno, guys, Byrd played so well last year that I can't believe it was a fluke. And I would have been very happy if the Mets signed Byrd to this deal. (If they don't get Choo, and I don't expect them to, they need to get somebody to play corner OF, and a short-term commitment to a guy whom the fans already know and appreciate would have been a perfect solution.) I'd have to think about whether this makes sense for the Phils specifically, but just as a generic contract, I think this is fine.
   9. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: November 12, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4598739)
The one thing the Phillies need to get back into contention is "Veteran Presence™".
   10. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: November 12, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4598741)
I may be the only person who lived in KC during the "only 2 Jermaines in baseball history" and in Philly during the "only 2 Marlons in baseball history" eras.
Jeremy Giambi was in Philadelphia with the Marlons. He missed the Double Jermaine Experience by about three weeks in KC though.
   11. DA Baracus Posted: November 12, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4598743)
Thanks for being you Ruben.
   12. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: November 12, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4598747)
I'm surprised he went for 18m. But MLBTradeRumors had him estimated at 2/16, so that's pretty close. Probably an overpay, but if he nets you even 2 WAR over the contract it's not the worst deal ever, and at 3 WAR it's merely mediocre.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 12, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4598753)
I'm surprised he went for 18m. But MLBTradeRumors had him estimated at 2/16, so that's pretty close


ESPN says it is 2/16.
   14. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 12, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4598757)
A Marlon Anderson signing cannot be too far off.


What about Marlin Perkins?
   15. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 12, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4598760)
?

;_;

>:'-(
   16. JRVJ Posted: November 12, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4598761)
The Philly Commentariat seems to be of mixed minds about this. Crashburn Alley hates it, but the Good Phight is mildly positive about it.

IMO, it's almost impossible to rank this move without seeing what else the Phils will do this winter, but one thing is clear: the Phillies will not lose their 2nd rounder due to this move.
   17. jacjacatk Posted: November 12, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4598764)
This isn't the worst gamble in history as a placeholder signing for a competitive team.

The Phillies, though, barring an '83 style old-man renaissance, aren't the kind of team that needs to be signing 35 year old placeholders. It's probably time to just blow things up completely, but if you can't put Ruf at 1B where he belongs, there's no good reason not to save the $16M and let him play a corner OF spot full time until you find a younger, better alternative.

I mean realistically, if Marlon Byrd at 2/16 looks like a good idea now, why didn't Victorino at 3/39 last year?
   18. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: November 12, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4598769)
Darin Ruf: "Make mine a double."
   19. Textbook Editor Posted: November 12, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4598780)
I mean realistically, if Marlon Byrd at 2/16 looks like a good idea now, why didn't Victorino at 3/39 last year?


I'm not convinced Victorino won't crater in the next 2 years--it's not like he was in perfect health all year with no issues. Sure, right now Victorino at 3/$39 seems better than Ben Revere v.2013 + 2/$16 for Byrd, but I feel like 2 more years of data are needed before declaring which side made out better.

I still think the Phillies sign Ellsbury; I doubt this deal precludes that from happening. Brown-Ellsbury-Byrd would be leaps and bounds better offensively than the production they got out of the 3 OF spots in 2013... Even if Ellsbury and Byrd perform below their 2013 levels by 10-20%.

   20. JRVJ Posted: November 12, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4598789)
A very good (and recent) article in the Good Phight argued that the Phillies collected about $23MM less in gate and concession revenues due to the decrease in attendance at the Bank. There have also been reports that the Phillies are very close to getting a very good new TV deal.

While most reactions to the Phillies are that they should blow everything up, I would think that there are some substantial business issues driving their decision making this off-season (especially as they have the 7th pick in the draft, and that pick is protected).

There's multiple strategies that the Phillies can pursue this off-season, and none are particularly affected by this Marlon Byrd signing (i.e., they could be do something similar to what the Indians did in 2012, by signing two FAs, losing their 2nd and 3rd round picks; they could go all-in on Masahiro Tanaka, since most of the $$$ shelled out for him would not affect the Phillies for salary cap purposes; they could even load up on mid-level, non tender FAs, hoping that by adding extra production in a bunch of places, they can be competitive in 2014).

   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 12, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4598808)
A very good (and recent) article in the Good Phight argued that the Phillies collected about $23MM less in gate and concession revenues due to the decrease in attendance at the Bank. There have also been reports that the Phillies are very close to getting a very good new TV deal.



Is there a suggestion they'll blow through the luxury tax threshhold? They're at $120 mill in committed salary with about $18 mill in arb salaries ($12 mill if you non-tender Lannan, Mayberry, Bernadina)
   22. JRVJ Posted: November 12, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4598820)
Well, that article suggested that the Phils SHOULD blow through the threshhold, at least for a few years, because the money in question is not material.
   23. Textbook Editor Posted: November 12, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4598823)
they could even load up on mid-level, non tender FAs, hoping that by adding extra production in a bunch of places,


I agree they could/should do this... If Amaro, Jr. understood the concept of adding marginal improvement over a vast number of lineup spots/bench spots/etc. But based on his now-pretty extensive history, I don't believe for one second he has any idea of this concept. He's probably just looking at what the Red Sox did last year and saying to himself: "They signed scrappy, gamer veterans on short deals! If I do that we can win the World Series!"
   24. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 12, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4598830)
Well, that article suggested that the Phils SHOULD blow through the threshhold


They should trade for all the Dodgers bad contracts.
   25. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 12, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4598836)
Right numbers, wrong team. Yes, Byrd's useful as a placeholder on a competitive team. The Phils are not, however, that team. Phils need to hit home runs with their signings if they're going to upgrade the offense (and pitching) to be competitive in 2014. Marlon Byrd's a successful bunt in the ninth when you're down by 4.
   26. jacjacatk Posted: November 12, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4598838)
I still think the Phillies sign Ellsbury; I doubt this deal precludes that from happening. Brown-Ellsbury-Byrd would be leaps and bounds better offensively than the production they got out of the 3 OF spots in 2013... Even if Ellsbury and Byrd perform below their 2013 levels by 10-20%.


Brown, Ruf, and Revere are all projected with better WAR than Byrd for 2014 by FanGraphs. This is Delmon Young 2.0, the not quite as crappy signing, where the Phillies give money to someone they have no really good reason to expect to be better than guys they already have. When there's a decent chance they're a better team if they light this $16M on fire and play Ruf in RF than give it to Byrd and play him there, they're making a poor decision.
   27. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 12, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4598846)
This is Delmon Young 2.0, the not quite as crappy signing, where the Phillies give money to someone they have no really good reason to expect to be better than guys they already have

He doesn't have to project better to be worth signing. If you sign 5 such guys you increase your chances that at least 1 will be good. You thus lower your risk that RF will be a complete black hole. Not all signings have to turn out well for the strategy to be sound.
   28. jacjacatk Posted: November 12, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4598848)
If you sign 5 guys who are collectively making what the one who turns out to be good is worth, maybe. If you sign 5 guys whose upside is that they'll be worth what you're paying them, you'll just be guaranteeing that your wasting at least some of the money.
   29. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: November 12, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4598850)
Nice try at an "LOLMets" moment by Philly.com, mentioning the traded-the-day-of-t-shirt-promo thing...Which doesn't come close to the fired-the-day-you're-going-to-be-honored-for-a-thousand-wins-as-manager thing for classiness.
   30. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 12, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4598854)
If you sign 5 guys who are collectively making what the one who turns out to be good is worth, maybe. If you sign 5 guys whose upside is that they'll be worth what you're paying them, you'll just be guaranteeing that your wasting at least some of the money.

Yes. Although in this case I don't think Byrd's upside is 1.5 WAR. He can certainly do much worse than that but he could conceivably get 3.5 WAR.
   31. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: November 12, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4598879)
I was trying to get a sense of how massive of an outlier Byrd's 2013 was. I dug up every player in the live ball era who set a career high in OPS+ at age 35 with a 130 or greater OPS+. Unless I missed someone, the list is 7 players:

Marlon Byrd
Tommy Heinrich
Hank Sauer
Lefty O'Doul
George Harper
Al Oliver
Jorge Posada

Harper, O'Doul, Heinrich, and Sauer have mitigating circumstances: Harper didn't become a MLB regular until he was 30; O'Doul spent his prime beating up on the PCL and became a MLB regular when he was 31; Heinrich and Sauer missed much of their primes due to the war.

Posada and Oliver were very good hitters who had a career year late. The comparison there is instructive -- Byrd's previous career high was 122 (in 462 PAs), while Posada and Oliver both had career marks of 121. (I found 4 players with a 130 OPS+ at 35 who set career highs later, all very good hitters -- Jose Cruz, Barry Bonds, Chipper Jones, and David Ortiz.)

So Byrd's 2013 is wildly out of nowhere, historically so. I wouldn't trust any projection of his 2014 at all.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: November 12, 2013 at 04:48 PM (#4598883)
I'm going meh. I can't believe Byrd bounced back last year ... in fact not just bounced back but had the best year of his career. He looked toastier than toast to me but, let's face it, we've all seen it and said it before to be surprised. 2012 was a black hole but from 2009-11 he had 7.5 WAR in not quite 3 full seasons, 2 WAA ... that's perfectly good and certainly there was never any reason to think 2012 was coming.

Obviously 5 WAR is not happening again but 2 WAR hardly seem credible. This roughly falls in the Ichiro, Soriano, etc. bucket that I dredged up in some other recent thread. It's quite common for teams to hope guys like this can "not suck" although it's more likely in the $2-6 M range rather than $8 M but that's the Amaro bonus.

Brown, Ruf, and Revere are all projected with better WAR than Byrd for 2014 by FanGraphs.

That's fine but you can't count on all those guys staying healthy and a 4th OF usually gets about 400 PA anyway. And you certainly can't count on Howard staying healthy which puts Ruf at 1B. A 4-man OF of Brown, Ruf, Revere and Byrd is most likely better than a rotation of Brown, Ruf, Revere and career minor-leaguer. And a full season of Ruf in the field might give the Phils staff ulcers. (Yes, I know, they think ulcers are primarily bacteria-driven not stress-driven ... but that's just how bad Ruf could be out there!)
   33. Walt Davis Posted: November 12, 2013 at 05:04 PM (#4598889)
So Byrd's 2013 is wildly out of nowhere, historically so.

True. And while not nearly so rare, his 2012 was out of nowhere too. His career BABIP is 325 and in 2012 it was 257 -- interesting in that it was 325 in Boston but a horrific 091 in Chicago. Seems quite unlikely he'd repeat the 353 of 2013 (although that's not his career high) but I'm guessing we should expect something around his career average 325.

In 2012, his power absolutely cratered while in 2013 his HR/FB is double what he'd done 2010-11. This coincided with a big jump in K-rate. Byrd might be doing the standard old man thing of trading Ks for power ... but then, old men rarely last long with that approach unless they were really good to begin with.

Anyway, I'll agree that a repeat of 2012 is a lot more likely than a repeat of 2013 but I don't think either is very likely. 2012 now looks more like a freak bad year than a true collapse. Still I also agree that I don't think any projection is worth it, the variance is just too high -- 1.9 WAR in 482 PA, -.5 WAR in 153, 5 WAR in 579. Toss in the PED suspension and anybody who thinks they have a read on the "true talent" of Marlon Byrd is kidding themselves.

EDIT: 2 WAR hardly seem credible ... I mean seems credible.
   34. geonose Posted: November 12, 2013 at 05:06 PM (#4598891)
I was trying to get a sense of how massive of an outlier Byrd's 2013 was. I dug up every player in the live ball era who set a career high in OPS+ at age 35 with a 130 or greater OPS+. Unless I missed someone, the list is 7 players:

I assume that's age 35 or greater, so add Raul Ibanez at age 37 in 2009. Career high OPS+ of 132.
   35. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: November 12, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4598901)
I will be stunned if he remains on any team's 25-man roster for the duration of this deal.
   36. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: November 12, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4598945)
WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!


WORLD ####### CHAMPIONSHIP HERE WE COME!!!!!


!!!!!!WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!


BRING ON DOTEL AND FARNSWORTH!!!!!!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
   37. Joey B. Posted: November 12, 2013 at 07:41 PM (#4598986)
Wow, just wow. This idiot still doesn't realize he needs to start rebuilding his team with youth; he actually still seriously believes that they can bounce back next year, when it's far more likely that they're going to collapse and be one of the worst teams in baseball.

Don't ever, ever get rid of this man, Philly.
   38. JRVJ Posted: November 12, 2013 at 08:20 PM (#4599012)
37, How does this preclude the Phillies from getting younger? Who does this block? What picks were lost?
   39. Sonic Youk Posted: November 12, 2013 at 11:32 PM (#4599098)
Apparently the phillies are trying to trade for Jose Bautista too
   40. RJ in TO Posted: November 12, 2013 at 11:51 PM (#4599111)
Apparently the phillies are trying to trade for Jose Bautista too

With Domonic Brown supposedly going the other way.
   41. Jose Molina wants a nickname like "A-Rod" Posted: November 12, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4599118)
The final piece of the puzzle. Congrats Ruben!
   42. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:09 AM (#4599123)
If Marlon Byrd is still an everyday player by August, I will eat my shoe.

I have bookmarked this thread. Hopefully, this works out better than Lazzeri's dollar bucks promise that remains unfulfilled.

EDIT: I concede Byrd is a long shot, but maybe there will be a lot of injuries.
   43. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:47 AM (#4599132)
If Marlon Byrd is still an everyday player by August, I will eat my shoe.
in related news, the sales of shoes made entirely out of cheddar cheese have doubled in the last 12 hours.
Apparently the phillies are trying to trade for Jose Bautista too
isn't that exactly what they should be doing.
   44. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 13, 2013 at 09:58 AM (#4599216)
but that's just how bad Ruf could be out there

Maybe it's being brainless on the issue of OF defense having observed a long line of lumbering OFs, from Wes Covington, Luzinski, Keith Moreland, Inky, Burrell, Ibanez to _elmon Young along with the antics of Lonnie Smith and Dom Brown, but I didn't think Ruf looked too awful for a first-timer last year. Range is awful but he was getting better breaks and the arm looks to be accurate if mediocre. :)
   45. Textbook Editor Posted: November 14, 2013 at 08:44 PM (#4600474)
This is a hell of an indictment of Amaro and the whole approach of the entire Phillies organization. I wish Joe Average Phillies fan understood just how badly mismanaged their team is; if they really did, there'd be pitchforks and torches outside the ballpark.

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