New York Mets Sign Outfielder Marlon Byrd
After focusing on their bullpen this offseason, the New York Mets and general manager Sandy Alderson have started to address another glaring weakness on their roster: the outfield. Jason Bay’s tenure with the Mets could not have gone worse, leading to his release in November.
Although Bay was a terrible pick up for the Mets with a 100 million dollar contract and nearly no production over three seasons, he was a legitimate Major League outfielder. With his release, the Mets were left with Lucas Duda and a group of unknown minor league level players. Duda has shown flashes of being a legitimate starter at times, but needs to be more consistent to stay in the starting lineup.
That being said, New York has signed former Chicago Cub outfielder Marlon Byrd to a minor league contract. Byrd is not a lock to make the final roster necessarily, but baring any injuries or lack of production, he has a good chance to be starting for New York on opening day.
Byrd only played 47 games last year, partially because of a 50-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. While his production faltered a bit last season, his career batting average is .278 in 11 seasons.
He is far from the solution for the Mets’ weak outfield, but even at 35-years old, he is one of the best options that New York has. Alderson has continued his trend of picking up veterans for cheap contracts and still might make a few more similar moves going into Spring Training.
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