The Pittsburgh Pirates treated the 2013 MLB trade deadline differently than they had taken the past 20 deadlines. In the past two seasons, the Pirates were considered buyers, but they didn’t go completely in; they just dipped their toe in the water. This season, the Pirates made some big moves. The Pirates acquired Justin Morneau from the Minnesota Twins as well as Marlon Byrd and John Buck from the New York Mets. Of the moves they have made in the past few seasons, acquiring Byrd was by far the best.
To get Byrd, the Pirates had to part with two of their top 20 prospects. The Mets received the Pirates’ top second base prospect Dilson Herrera and top relief pitching prospect Vic Black. Herrera has the potential to be an everyday second baseman with above average defense and solid offense. Black will probably be the Mets’ closer next season; he has a high-90s fastball and a high-80s slider that is his wipe-out pitch.
To be honest, after the performance Byrd put on in the Wild Card game on Tuesday night, it looks like the Pirates completely robbed the Mets in that deal. The main reason they acquired Byrd was to put them over the top and to put them in a good position heading into the postseason. Byrd was one of the main reasons they were able to win the game on Tuesday night against the Cincinnati Reds. In the second inning, Byrd was able to launch a home run to left field to get the scoring started for the Pirates and take a ton of pressure off of the home team in what was his first ever postseason plate appearance.
Byrd wasn’t just great in the Pirates’ playoff game; he was also an impact bat down the final stretch of the regular season. In 115 plate appearances with the Bucs, Byrd hit for a .318/.357/.486 slash line and a .843 OPS with three home runs and 17 RBI. If the Pirates are able to go deep into October, Byrd is likely going to be a huge reason why.