The Pirates officially lose the first piece from their 94 win team of this past season. Marlon Byrd has signed a 2 year deal with the Phillies worth $16 million.
Source says Marlon Byrd deal is two years, $16 million. #phillies
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) November 12, 2013
What this means is the Pirates have a hole in RF. That is nothing new. Until Byrd was acquired from the Mets in late August, the Bucs used a parade of players in right field for the past several seasons. Marlon Byrd was the perfect late season trade. He filled a position of need and lived up to the expectations. He will be missed, but the Pirates should be able to fill the vacancy with internal options. Jose Tabata is an adequate OF when healthy, while Andrew Lambo mashed 32 home runs in the minors last year and deserves a shot at some playing time. Both Tabata and Lambo are nothing more that placeholders until super prospect Gregory Polanco is ready to take over. I would have liked Byrd back on a one year deal. 2 years at that kind of money is beyond what the Bucs were willing to pay. I’m glad they passed. It should be noted that this was very much in line with the amount of money and length of contract that baseball insiders were predicting for Byrd. Jon Heyman wrote a piece recently in which himself, a GM, and a Player Agent made predictions on the contracts for the top free agents. This was the prediction for Byrd:
OF Marlon Byrd: There’s reason to be skeptical, but it’s hard to miss those glitzy 2013 numbers. Agent: 2 years, $17M. GM: 2 years, $15M. Me: 2 years, $18M.
So far it seems like the insiders have a pretty good grasp of how the market is shaking out.