With the Phillies hamstrung by the deals of Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz, and unlikely to move Cole Hamels or Chase Utley, but still playing like a very bad baseball team, every name on the roster is going to be discussed as the trade deadline approaches.
This morning, Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe broke down Hamels’ trade candidacy, and also looked at that of Marlon Byrd.
4. Marlon Byrd, OF, Phillies — Byrd remains on the fringe for a few teams that need a righthanded-hitting outfielder. The Royals and Red Sox are certainly in that boat. Byrd, who has a .791 OPS, has been steady for the Phillies, and since 2013 has hit the third most extra-base hits in the NL behind Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew McCutchen.
On the surface, Byrd’s right-handed pop (he has 13 homeruns and 46 RBIs), for only eight million next season seems like a pretty reasonable price. The concern comes in when you take into account Byrd’s 2016 option, which is the exact same option (550 plate appearances in 2015 or 1,100 in 2015/2016) that is about to vest for Jimmy Rollins. If Byrd continues to produce at his current level, then there isn’t much of a risk in his eight million option for 2016. But given that he’ll be 39 late in the 2016 season, it’s fair to wonder how well he will continue to produce.
As for the Phillies, I’m not sure what they would get out of a Byrd trade presently. Once Darin Ruf returns he could be your every-day right-fielder, so there’s that, but you aren’t going to get much of a return for him. I guess, avoiding the 2016 option would be nice for the front-office, except they gave him that option within the last year, which makes me wonder if they realize how scary it could potentially be.