When the subject of coveted Philadelphia Phillies players comes up in scouting reports all over baseball, one name keeps popping up in Marlon Byrd.
There is a good reason for that. Byrd, even though he is 36, is following his best season last year with one this year that could top it. While the Phillies arguably have bigger names, no one brings more bang for his buck than Byrd. The guy comes to play every day, he always plays hard and is a surprisingly good base runner for someone of his age and weight (245 pounds). Unlike his outfield mates — center fielder Ben Revere and left fielder Domonic Brown — he also makes all of the plays in the outfield.
While players like Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley have bigger names they also have more bloated contracts with only Utley playing up to his paycheck. Chances are if the Phillies are able to unload any of those three — and that’s highly doubtful — they would have to eat a large chunk of those contracts.
They can trade Byrd without assuming his two-year, $16 million contract and get something of value for the future. Last year, Byrd had 24 home runs, 88 RBIs and hit .291 in 147 games. Through 81 games this season, Byrd is hitting .268 with 15 homers and 48 RBIs which is on pace for 30 home runs and 100 RBIs.
Byrd can put a contender lacking an outfield piece over the top and bring back the Phillies a Single A or a Double A star now who can give the big club 10 good years. While Byrd is the Phillies’ best outfielder, he’s a luxury they cannot afford any longer.