Cincinnati Reds Trade Marlon Byrd to San Francisco Giants


July may have come and gone, but the Cincinnati Reds aren’t done with their “reboot” quite yet, as outfielder Marlon Byrd is on the move. On Thursday, the Reds announced that Byrd has been traded to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for right-handed reliever Stephen Johnson.

According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Byrd cleared waivers, which allowed the trade talks to happen.

Byrd’s stint with the Reds was a brief one, having been traded to the club from the Philadelphia Phillies in December for pitcher Ben Lively. He finishes his 96-game Reds career with a slash line of .237/.286/.448 to go along with 19 homers and 42 runs batted in.

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In return for Byrd, the Reds got 24-year-old Johnson, a right-handed reliever who is currently in Double-A. Johnson is a high-strikeout pitcher (10.6 K/9 for his career), but he also walks his fair share of batters (4.9 BB/9). The 2012 sixth-round pick has showed improvement every year of his professional career and has personal bests in ERA (3.41), WHIP (1.28), and walks per nine innings (4.5) this season. Per Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel, Johnson has been clocked at 100 mph and flashes a plus curveball.

The trade ultimately makes sense for the Reds, as the 37-year-old Byrd wasn’t going to be a part of their future. On top of that, he had an $8 million vesting option for 2016 if he reached 550 plate appearances this season. Paying that kind of money to an outfielder who will be 38 just doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially for a team that may not be competitive until 2017. Jocketty didn’t get a flashy prospect in return, but he did well to get a hard-throwing reliever with potential. At the end of the day, it’s more about shedding the money than the player received in return.

From the Giants’ side of things, they needed an outfield bat due to the injuries to Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence, so the deal makes all the sense in the world as they chase their four World Series title in six years.

Outfielder Ryan LaMarre was called up from Triple-A Louisville to replace Byrd on the active roster. LaMarre, 26, primarily plays center field and is hitting .257/.307/.400 with eight home runs, 18 RBI, and 11 stolen bases this season.

With Byrd gone, he left field duties will now fall on Jason Bourgeois and Brennan Boesch, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay.

Skip Schumaker is starting in left field in Thursday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Once Yorman Rodriguez comes off of the minor league disabled list, it stands to reason that he’ll be called up to get a chance in left field.

Next: Raisel Iglesias pitching his way into 2016 rotation