Reds Rumors

Cincinnati Reds Rumors: A Potential Landing Spot for Marlon Byrd

By Matt Wilkes
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Marlon Byrd won’t draw the type of attention that Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman will as we near the trade deadline on July 31, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a number of teams looking to acquire the Cincinnati Reds left fielder.

The team that could be at the top of the list is the Kansas City Royals. Of course, the Royals already have an All-Star left fielder in Alex Gordon, but he strained his groin on Wednesday and is expected to be out for eight weeks.

The Royals have a serviceable backup outfielder in Jarrod Dyson, who starred in last season’s postseason, but some, including the folks over at Kings of Kauffman, believe that a trade could still be made and Byrd could be a potential target.

For comparison’s sake, here are the numbers for both Byrd and Dyson:

Byrd: .249/.303/.472, 14 HR, 32 RBI, .334 wOBA, 111 wRC+, 0.4 fWAR, 254 PA

Dyson: .282/.327/.437, 1 HR, 9 RBI, .332 wOBA, 111 wRC+, 1.1 fWAR, 114 PA

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As you can see, Dyson has provided more overall value this season in over 100 fewer plate appearances (and is a much better fielder), but you have to keep in mind that Byrd’s numbers are weighed down by a horrendous April, where his wRC+ was 20. Byrd also has a significant upper hand when it comes to power and experience. Dyson has five career home runs and has spent virtually all of his career as a backup, never registering more than 120 games played or 330 plate appearances. For that reason, Royals general manager Dayton Moore could be active in the outfield trade market and Byrd could be toward the top of his wish list to replace Gordon in left field for the time being.

The Reds wouldn’t get a top propsect like Raul Mondesi for Byrd, but they could get a pretty decent prospect in return. Given the Reds’ need for solid hitting prospects, they could target a mid-range talent like outfielder Jorge Bonifacio (Royals’ No. 9 prospect, per MLB.com) or catcher Chase Vallot (No. 10).

Whether it’s ultimately the Royals or another team that makes a play for Byrd, moving him would be smart. Byrd is 37 and won’t be a part of the Reds’ future, so getting someone in return for him while he still has solid value makes sense. Moving Byrd would also allow the Reds to finally give Yorman Rodriguez some playing time, rather than letting their No. 10 prospect ride the pine as a mere extra bench bat like they’re currently doing. (Update: Just a few hours after I wrote this, Rodriguez was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Raisel Iglesias.)

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