With the MLB offseason already in full swing, rumors and rumors of rumors are everywhere. Among those teams dealing with quite a few decisions is the Pittsburgh Pirates. They have a good group coming back but they have free agent decisions that will be big swing decisions like whether or not they can re-sign Marlon Byrd. That is going to prove to be one of the more difficult things that the GM has to tackle during the offseason.
When thinking of premiere outfielders, you may not immediately think of Byrd. I’m not sure why that is after the 2013 season that he put up. In the past he has been a bit of a traveler, moving from team to team but in 2013 his travels included a great year. He batted .291 with 24 homers and 88 RBI for the season. Throw in an OPS of .847 and you have yourself a fairly good season considering he comes at a fraction of the price tag of a bigger named player.
Here is the point for the Pirates however. Byrd has a history of not quite being that productive. How far will they go money-wise to secure Byrd for the 2014 season plus when they aren’t completely sure he will repeat the great 2013? I think they owe it to themselves to go after him. It won’t be easy as the as many as eight or more teams are likely to want Byrd for his lower price, high production value. He was a clear and present force for the Bucs though and they should be willing to raise up to bring him back.