Last weekend, it appeared that even though Marlon Byrd had the Mariners and Royals listed on a small no-trade clause, they were the front-runners to land his services at the deadline. According to CBS Sports’ Baseball Insider Jon Heyman, talks between the Phillies and the Mariners appear to be dying, less than a week later.
A trade for Byrd, whose four-team no-trade clause includes Seattle, is said to be “less than likely” now by a league source.
According to Heyman, Byrd, who seemed like someone who wasn’t going to necessarily mind a trade a week ago, doesn’t want to leave Philly.
One reason that Byrd isn’t a likelihood is because he has expressed a deep preference to stay in Philadelphia
Heyman says that Rays’ ace David Price would have the same reluctance to take the over 3,000 mile trek west to join the Mariners, except if you really think about it, the Mariners might be a nice long-term fit for Price. A one-two punch of him and Felix Hernandez would likely be the best starting duo in the bigs, and they’d be doing it in one of the best pitchers ballparks in the leagues. The Mariners also have shown a desire to win by locking up Hernandez, signing Robinson Cano, and developing talent like Kyle Seager. Plus, just about every pro athlete that has ever left the city of Seattle remarks about how much they love the city, so besides the rain, it seems like a nice play to play.
For Byrd, Seattle just doesn’t make a ton of sense. They are clinging onto the second wild-card spot currently, but could very easily be passed by the Blue Jays, Yankees, Indians, or Royals. Plus they play in a now loaded division where the worst team in the division, the Rangers, could very easily be back to contending next year, and the fourth place team, the Astros, continue to funnel young talent onto their team. Don’t get me wrong, the Mariners are having a very good season, but it’s very possible they win 86 games this year and miss out on the playoffs. It’s very possible they do the same next year.
For Byrd, if he is going to move across the country to play for his fourth team in two calendar years, it better be for a World Series contender. Maybe if the Mariners acquire Price and then reengage in the Byrd sweepstakes, then he will be more open to things. For now, I can’t blame Byrd for not jumping on the first flight to Seattle.