The New York Mets have indicated that they have no intention of trading outfielder Marlon Byrd, but considering his age, his production this season and the place the Mets are in the rebuilding process, trading him should at least be considered a possibility.
The question should not be whether or not the Mets are willing to trade Byrd, but what they can get in return for him. As integral as Byrd has been to the Mets’ resurgence over the past month, there should be no hesitation on the part of the Mets to trade him if they can receive a legitimate prospect that could be a part of their future.
Obviously, the Mets won’t expect Byrd to net them a top-tier prospect the way trading Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants two years ago got them Zack Wheeler, but the outfielder should be worth at least a mid-range prospect who is universally considered a top-10 prospect in his organization and has a realistic chance of being a contributor to a major league team.
Byrd has been compared to Scott Hairston, who the Mets declined to trade last season because they claimed not to have substantial offers on the table for him. However, Byrd is having a far better season than Hairston had last year, and should be considered a more valuable trade chip that should be worth something substantial in return.
Byrd is making $700,000 this season, which is a negligible amount to any MLB team; at 35, he has plenty left in the gas tank to finish the season strong. With the season he’s having, he has the ability to help a contender in a number of different ways. He’s on pace for a career-high in home runs and has played solid defense in right field, accumulating six outfield assists.
Surely, a contending team will part with a legitimate prospect to add a player like that to its roster for their playoff run.
The more Byrd hits between now and the MLB trade deadline, the more his trade value will go up and the more likely the Mets will be to trade him. For the Mets, it shouldn’t be a matter of whether they’re willing to trade him or not, but a matter of getting the right offer for him.
And the way he’s going, it could only be a matter of time until that happens.