The New York Yankees figure to be active as the MLB non-waiver trade deadline approaches on Thursday. They have been linked to several names from Josh Willingham, John Danks and a slew of bullpen arms and an assorted menagerie of bats. One name that has come up and actually makes sense for the Yankees is Marlon Byrd of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Byrd, 36, has a vesting option for $8 million next season which has scared some teams away. Two of the teams that were reported to be interested in him, the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals, are on his limited no-trade clause.
So far, Byrd has shown his power is not a fluke. After hitting 24 home runs between the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates last season, Byrd has followed that up with 20 homers for the Phillies this season. He carries a .273/.321/.482 slash line to go with those homers as well as 22 doubles, two triples, and 60 RBI. The one negative about Byrd’s game, but a negative the Yankees can live with, is Byrd’s habit of striking out. He has 125 strikeouts in 411 at-bats.
The Yankees need a boost in power and Byrd should not cost much in the way of prospects if the Phillies are serious about clearing some payroll and adding to a depleted farm system. All it would really cost the Yankees is taking a risk on a player who will be 37 next season and making $8 million. Is that any different from the Yankees’ roster now? Then again, the Yankees’ experience with Alfonso Soriano could make them wary about acquiring a power bat that is north of 35-years-old.
Right now, the Yankees need pop in their lineup. The Yankees don’t give up on a season and they aren’y far off the division lead. With Mark Teixeira’s health a big question mark moving forward it would make sense to add Byrd to a lineup that features Brett Gardner as the Yankees’ second leading home run hitter. Plus, the Yankees could use a right fielder for next season given the question mark that Carlos Beltran has become and Byrd could fill that hole which gives the Yankees one less thing to worry about moving forward.
Byrd, if the price is acceptable, is the obvious choice for the Yankees.