Trade Ideas: Marlon Byrd for Joe Nathan

An article by posted on July 29, 2013

byrd hrAh, the trading deadline; my favorite time of year. It’s the midseason plot point where words like “blockbuster” are thrown around like clothes in a dryer and can change the fate of any team.

I don’t think a blockbuster is in the Mets’ near future. I do believe there are trades that can be made if Sandy Alderson decides to lift his backside from his chair and pull his hands out.

One idea I’ve been pondering is trading Marlon Byrd for Texas Rangers reliever Joe Nathan.nathan

Nathan, 38, has been reported on the trade block for the last few days now. In 44 games for the Rangers this season, he’s 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 44 strike outs and 11 walks.

It’s also been reported that the Rangers are looking for another right-handed power bat in the lineup. That’s been made all too obvious by their recent admissions that they would actually play Manny Ramirez. I’d like to think that Byrd is a step up for the Rangers from Ramirez.

Byrd also has some experience playing in Texas. He spent some of his best years there, including a career-best, 20-home-run-89-RBI season. Byrd hit .283 that year, which is right around the average he’s at now. The Rangers are familiar with Byrd. I would think they would rather plug him in than a deteriorating Ramirez. It’s a low-risk acquisition that also allows them to not have to eat up what remains of Alex Rios’ seven-year, $69.835 million contract, a player they also considered pursuing according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. Heyman also mentioned that the Rangers were looking at Byrd as a backup plan if a Rios deal fell through.

The beauty is that Byrd won’t have to play in the outfield every day in the American League. Byrd has played a great right field, which will only add to his current value, but we’ve seen the effects of playing every day on Byrd. Despite that, he’s still batting .281 with a career-high in slugging percentage (.513). That slugging, in part, comes from the 17 home runs, 17 doubles and three triples he’s already hit. He’s on pace to surpass his season-high home run total (20). With 59 RBIs to this point, he could also break that season-high RBI total (89).

What all this means is that Byrd would be a good addition to a Rangers lineup that is sure to be buyers at the deadline. Whether Byrd could net Nathan is another matter. I think the trade can benefit each team. The fear is that Nathan is an old reliever that may not last long enough to make an impact with the Mets in years to come. I’m not saying the Mets should pursue this trade with vigor, but it poses an interesting scenario for them before the deadline. It’s a longshot, but as we know, anything can happen at the trade deadline.

What do you think about trading Byrd to the Rangers for Nathan?

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