Eric Byrnes Joins the Seattle Mariners After Being Released by the Diamondbacks

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIJanuary 30, 2010

PHOENIX - MAY 30:  Eric Byrnes #22 of the Arizona Diamondbacks prepares to bat against the Atlanta Braves during the eleventh inning of the major league baseball game at Chase Field on May 30, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Braves 3-2.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

One of the first-ever posts I wrote on The Ghost of Moonlight Graham last December was that the New York Mets should trade for Eric Byrnes. At the time—and I still believe this—the Mets needed a player likes Byrnes.

Byrnes is a gritty, hard-nosed gamer who is great for any team’s clubhouse. I thought the Mets could use a personality like Byrnes to help bring their team together. Now, a little over a year later, he was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Any team was free to sign the 33-year-old.

Since Arizona is paying Byrnes’ salary in 2010 ($11 million), any team could have had Byrnes for the league minimum. The team that is hoping Byrnes’ hard-nosed attitude helps them next season is the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners signed Byrnes yesterday to a one-year deal. If Byrnes makes the team out of spring training, he will serve as a backup outfielder along with Ryan Langerhans and Michael Saunders.

There is also the possibility that, if the Mariners don’t add another outfielder this offseason, Byrnes and Langerhans could form a platoon in left field for Seattle. I am guessing the Mariners don’t want Milton Bradley in left field too often.

This is a good, low-risk signing by the Mariners. Remember, this is a guy who just two years ago finished 11th in the National League MVP voting with a .286 average, 21 home runs, and 50 stolen bases in 160 games.

Byrnes will be entering his 11th season in the majors and has a career .260 average with 109 home runs, 128 stolen bases, and a .763 OPS with the Oakland A’s, Colorado Rockies, Baltimore Orioles, and Diamondbacks.


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