It looks like the Pittsburgh Pirates will strike out early on the free-agent market with one of their own.
Needing a right fielder, bringing back free agent Marlon Byrd looked to be a strong possibility for Pirates general manager Neal Huntington. But unfortunately it seems as if that won’t happen.
The Philadelphia Phillies have reached agreement on a two-year deal with free agent outfielder, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Sources: #Phillies finalizing two-year agreement with Marlon Byrd. First reported by WIP in Philly.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 12, 2013
The deal brings Byrd back to the team that he started his major league career with in 2002.
The 36-year-old is coming off of a season in which he posted a career-best .294/.336/.511 slash line and 24 homers for the Mets and Pirates. Byrd was acquired by the Bucs in an August trade and played a big role down the stretch during the postseason run.
Huntington did have interest in Byrd, though it remains to be seen how serious the interest was. The likely scenario is that the Pirates weren’t willing to go two years on a 36-year-old outfielder coming off a career year, especially with highly touted prospect Gregory Polanco waiting in the wings.
The Pirates almost certainly will look for a short-term answer in right field, although it is unclear at the moment who Huntington will target, although one option could be to simply stick with Jose Tabata, who is coming off a pretty decent 2013 campaign.
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