As most Philadelphia fans were getting ready to buy Jacoby Ellsbury or Curtis Granderson jerseys this offseason, the Phillies had other plans. Instead, they brought free-agent outfielder Marlon Byrd back to Philadelphia with a two-year deal worth $16 million.
Marlon Byrd was once a prospect for the Phillies and has been a mediocre outfielder for most of his career. Last year, he produced at a much higher level than expected and was considered by many as a second-level prospect for the outfield this offseason. However, many fans do not agree with the signing for a team that needs to get younger.
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Byrd will bring some right-handed power to the middle of the Phils lineup, and his clubhouse presence will definitely help since he has the familiarity with some of the players left over from his days in red pinstripes. However, I do not see this as a great move to make so early in the hot-stove season.
It’s not like Marlon Byrd can be a cornerstone for the next few years like players such as Ellsbury or Carlos Beltran could have been. I realize those players would have cost the club a lot more to sign but at least progress could be expected. I am not so sure the addition of Marlon Byrd will add any wins at this point.
I hope for Phillies fans sake there are many more moves to come, because this first move has left a sour taste in my mouth. It is ironic that the move comes a day after Phillies season ticket holders had to renew their tickets by. I am sure some fans may have decided not to had this signing occurred two days ago.