However, late last night it was learned that the deal includes a vesting option for a third year. ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported that the $8 million club option for 2016 vests if he gets 600 plate appearances in 2015, or if he totals 1,100 plate appearances over 2014-15 and has at least 550 PA in ’15.
This seems like a huge overpay to me, or a sign that the market for corner outfielders have skyrocketed to parts unknown.
That said, the Phillies wasted no time in working to improve one of the worst offenses in the league last season. Byrd will bring them some needed punch if he can stay on the field and somewhat duplicate what he did last season when he was one of the most productive players in the NL.
Byrd batted .291/.336/.531 with a career-high 24 home runs, 35 doubles, 79 runs scored and and 88 RBI for the Mets and Pirates.
“Marlon adds a significant upgrade both offensively and defensively to our outfield,” Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement released by the team.
“He has been particularly productive against left-handed pitching which was a serious challenge for us this past season. He is an experienced middle-of-the-order hitter who creates some balance to our lineup. With his talent and clubhouse presence, we believe Marlon will be a solid addition to our club as we address our needs and plan to contend in 2014 and beyond.”
Mets GM Sandy Alderson weighed in on the deal last night saying:
“Given what we’ve seen so far, I wasn’t surprised,” Alderson said. “Had you asked me the question three or four months ago, I might have been surprised. But not in light of what’s happened since the end of the season. There haven’t been that many signings, but this one is consistent with the others.”
Alderson said the Mets had not had serious dialogue about bringing Byrd back to Queens, despite the Mets’ need to add two corner outfielders and Byrd’s positive performance before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“We didn’t have extensive discussions with Marlon,” Alderson said. “It wasn’t a place where we were prepared to be aggressive. And if it turned out that the market was as it turned out to be, then I’m happy for him.”