It is free agent season in the baseball business. Everyone is anxious to see who their team will sign. Philadelphia Phillies‘ fans got the news today that their team is signing a former Phillie who has not been on the team since 2005. That returning player is outfielder Marlon Byrd.
This is a continuing trend for the Phillies this season. Manager Ryne Sandberg has been bringing back familiar faces to his coaching staff such as former manager Larry Bowa. No one thought General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. would be following Sandberg’s footsteps and bringing back former players, and the fans don’t seem pleased with the decision.
Byrd is already 36 years old, and he was offered a two-year contract. The Phillies should be focusing on getting younger players as most of their core infield is older. An older team has more chances of seeing more injuries and less of a chance at making the playoffs.
Since Byrd is now locked into a deal we have to look at something positive. He can hopefully bring some offense to the team that had the tenth worst batting average in the National League. Byrd finished last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates with an average of .291, and the highest average in the Phillies’ starting lineup was .284. Byrd can also contribute with RBI as he had 88 of them.
This may not be the ideal situation for the Phillies, but we now have to get used to the idea. Byrd will now be in the outfield, and hopefully he can continue his offensive success and back that up with defense out in the field. With any luck the signing of old players will now stop.