The Pittsburgh Pirates have finally made their trade. It took them about a month longer than I wanted it to, but the Pirates and New York Mets have agreed to a deal sending Marlon Byrd, John Buck and cash to the Pirates in exchange for Dilson Herrera and a player-to-be-named-later.
Byrd will automatically step in as the starting right fielder, moving Jose Tabata to the bench once Starling Marte returns from the disabled list. Technically this upgrades the outfield and the bench if you look at it that way. In 464 plate appearances this season with the Mets, Byrd has a .285/.330/.518 slash line with 21 home runs. Byrd is also above average defensively. He strikes out nearly 27 percent of the time, and that does worry me a bit. Against lefties, Byrd is a monster. In 2013, he has a .345/.383/.597 line with a wRC+ of 170. Byrd also has the 4th highest OPS among right fielders in MLB.
Buck isn’t as exciting of a pick-up but it’s nice depth. He does have 15 home runs, but it comes with a .215/.285/.367 slash line. Luckily for the Pirates, since they have Russell Martin already, Buck won’t have to receive much playing time.
As for the players the Pirates are sending the Mets, Herrera was a top-ten prospect in the Pirates’ farm system. He is a second baseman that played in A-ball this season. He had 11 home runs and a .265 batting average in 479 plate appearances this season.
The Pirates took longer than I would have liked to make a trade to help this offense, but now that it has happened I’m completely fine with it taking so long. They finally did something, and it was a very significant something. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington, great job on this trade.