What Could the Cincinnati Reds Get For Marlon Byrd?

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May 22, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds left fielder

Marlon Byrd

(9) argues with umpire Manny Gonzalez (79) during the sixth inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

When Marlon Byrd was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in December of last year, many agreed that this would be a temporary position. Though Byrd does have an $8 million vesting option for 2016, it seemed likely that Byrd was just a one year left fielder for the Reds, with the possibility that Jesse Winker could be called up in 2016 as their full time left fielder. Doing so would give Winker another year of progression in the minors, while Byrd would help the Reds as a run producer and also as a leader in the clubhouse.

But Byrd hasn’t quite been the run producer the Reds were hoping for and has slashed .253/.304/.478 with 15 home runs this year. With his numbers down, it seems likely that the Reds will see what they can get for Byrd on the open market and put Ivan De Jesus, Brennan Boesch, Skip Schumaker, Yorman Rodriguez or Jason Bourgeois in left field. Though Byrd hasn’t been performing as well as the Reds had hoped, he has been heating up lately (batting .333 in the last month with five home runs), and could still have some trade value.

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The Reds acquired Byrd for pitching prospect for Ben Lively (who was ranked as the Reds’ 7th best prospect of 2014), so we can use that as a gauge for who the club could get for in a trade for Byrd. Though no teams have yet expressed interest in Byrd, there are a few teams that could use a power-hitting left fielder, either before the trade deadline or for next season. Teams that could be interested in a new left fielder because of either injuries or just some needed pop in their lineup could include the New York Mets, the Kansas City Royals, and the Colorado Rockies.

The Mets may be interested in a new left fielder because of the injuries to Michael Cuddyer. If the Mets are interested in Byrd they may be willing to trade either Michael Conforto or Marcos Molina, their seventh and eighth best prospects respectively. Conforto is an outfielder who hit .331/.403/.448 in New York-Penn League last year and scouting reports say he shouldn’t need to stay in the minors very long. Molina, a RHP also in the New York-Penn League, posted a 1.77 ERA with a 91/18 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2014.

The Royals could also be a team interested in a new left fielder due to the recent injury to Alex Gordon. Their number seven prospect, LHP Foster Griffin or their number nine prospect, outfielder Jorge Bonifacio could be interesting for the Reds, if the Royal decide not to go with back up outfielder Jarrod Dyson.

The Rockies might be another team interested in Byrd. Nagging injuries and a slumping season from Carlos Gonzales could turn the Rockies’ attention towards Byrd. Colorado would definitely be a place where Byrd could succeed. Byrd’s power could match well with Colorado’s hitter’s ball park and thin air. Rockies No. 8 prospect, LHP Tyler Anderson, would be a nice addition for the Reds. Anderson won the Pitcher of the Year award in the Rockies system last season for his excellent performance in the Texas League where he posted an incredible 1.98 ERA. The Reds could also be interested in No. 9 prospect Trevor Story. Story, a shortstop and second baseman, hit .263/.367/.475 in Double-A Tulsa, with 48 extra-base hits and 23 stolen bases a year ago.

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