The Pittsburgh Pirates got a much-needed corner outfield power hitter for the stretch run by acquiring Marlon Byrd from the New York Mets, as well as catcher John Buck, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.
The Mets' official Twitter account has confirmed the move and provided more details:
#Mets trade J.Buck, M. Byrd and cash considerations to Pittsburgh for minor league second baseman Dilson Herrera and a player to be named.— New York Mets (@Mets) August 27, 2013
Dilson Herrera has been playing second base for Pittsburgh's Low-A team in West Virginia this season, which is his best position because his arm isn't strong enough for the left side of the infield.
There was a lot of talk around the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline about what the Pirates would do to upgrade an offense that ranked near the bottom of the league in runs scored, average and slugging percentage.
While the deadline came and went without anything materializing, the Pirates were able to get exactly what they needed in Byrd without sacrificing anything from their system to make it happen.
The soon-to-be 36-year-old has been one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season, hitting .285/.330/.518 with 21 homers in 117 games. He is a huge upgrade for the Pirates, whose right fielders have hit a collective .232/.297/.369 in 130 games.
Which team is the favorite to win the NL Central following this trade?
Buck also adds depth at catcher for the Pirates and will serve as Russell Martin's backup. Both Byrd and Buck will be free agents following the current 2013 season. According to Mike Axisa of CBS Sports, "Byrd is owed the pro-rate portion of a $700,000 salary," and "Buck is owed the remainder of his $6 million salary." Axisa also adds that "the Pirates are taking on approximately $1.25 million in the trade, though the Mets will cover some of that."
The Pirates are 76-54, a half-game behind St. Louis in the National League Central and three games ahead of Cincinnati for the first Wild Card spot. They look to be a safe bet for the postseason this year, and adding Byrd makes them better down the stretch.
In return, the Mets get a solid 19-year-old prospect already in Low-A. Herrera has hit well at that level, especially considering his age, posting a .265/.330/.421 line with 11 home runs. He has athleticism, running speed and some pop in his bat.
Considering the Mets were able to get a player with this kind of upside in exchange for a veteran like Byrd, it was a good roll of the dice for them.
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