In a radio spot Sunday evening, I predicted that barring a change in their reported trade-deadlines plans, or lack there of, the Phillies’ only major move would be to move Antonio Bastardo. And when it comes down to it, calling that a big move might be somewhat of a stretch.
Marlon Byrd appeared to be my most likely big-ger name to get moved, but with trades to the Royals and Mariners seeming increasingly unlikely, I was struggling to find a match for the 36 year-old outfielder.
Earlier this evening, Fox’s J.P. Morosi passed this along, perhaps signaling that the Pirates could make a serious run at both Bastardo and Byrd.
Pirates showing interest in Phillies LHP Antonio Bastardo and OF Marlon Byrd, sources say. @FOXSports1
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 29, 2014
The Pirates know Byrd well-they acquired him at this time last year from the Mets-and while I don’t think they are eager to push top prospect Gregory Polanco out of right-field, he would be an obvious upgrade over Travis Snider in left.
As for Bastardo, the Pirates left-handed specialist is currently Justin Wilson, who has posted a 4.62 ERA in 45 games this season. So assuming he doesn’t lose his control, like he did early this year, Bastardo would be an obvious upgrade over Wilson. He also gives a relatively young bullpen an arm with some pennant-race experience.
I would tend to think that a small-market team like the Pirates, who have to make sure they don’t get too caught up in one season enough to move anyone significant in the farm system, are looking at the two separately, rather than as a package. But that’s just me speculating. I’d also speculate that the chances that they take on Byrd’s contract and give up anyone of any value in return are slim to none. Again though, I’m not an insider, I’m just a writer.