It may be a little early for most MLB teams to start thinking about the trade deadline, but not for teams like the New York Mets. The Mets are far from being competitive and still in rebuilding mode, so it’s not too early to start thinking about which veteran players they may be looking to trade before the deadline. One such player is outfielder Marlon Byrd.
The Mets gave Byrd a minor league contract and an invitation to spring training during the offseason, as he was just trying to keep his career going, and Byrd has proven all season that he can still play at the major league level. Byrd has received a majority of the playing time in right field and been much more than the platoon player he was expected to be at the end of spring training. On the season, Byrd has hit .253 with 10 home runs and 31 RBI’s.
Although Byrd has been a pleasant surprise for the Mets this season, there’s no need to keep him around for the second half of the season. Byrd may have a future in the big leagues after this year, but it probably won’t be with the Mets, who need to focus on developing and evaluating their younger players. Instead of playing Byrd in right field the second half of the season, the Mets would be better off giving additional playing time to younger players like Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jordany Valdespin, Collin Cowgill, and other players that may have a future with the team.
The Mets won’t be able to get a lot in return if they choose to trade Byrd, but it never hurts to add another prospect to the farm system. Also, why not give a veteran like Byrd a chance to play for a contender down the stretch. He may not be an every day player anymore, especially for a team chasing a playoff birth, but Byrd still has plenty of pop left in his bat and could be a useful bench piece or platoon player on a contending team.
It doesn’t have to happen soon, but the Mets should at least be open to the possibility of trading Byrd before the trade deadline, as it’s something that could be beneficial to all parties involved.