According to multiple reports, the Phillies have agreed to terms with veteran outfielder Marlon Byrd on a two-year deal to be the right-handed-hitting outfield bat with pop they needed after Delmon Young and John Mayberry Jr. failed miserably at providing it in 2013.
Byrd, 36, seemed to have his career come to a dubious end in 2012 when he struggled, then received a 50-game suspension for PED use. Yet somehow he revived his career in 2013 with a standout season with the Mets he parlayed into a deadline trade to the playoff-bound Pirates, where he helped them end a two-decade-long postseason drought. Byrd hit .291 with 24 HR, 88 RBI and a career-best .843 OPS.
The commitment to another aging veteran indicates a belief that some younger player — Darin Ruf or, if the Phillies commit to a position switch, top hitting prospect Maikel Franco — will be capable to filling that need on a regular basis at some point in 2015. The report, first mentioned by WYSP, is that the contract will be for two seasons.
The Phillies remain on the prowl for a starting pitcher who can serve as a workhorse behind Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, and a set-up reliever.