The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck from the New York Mets.
The Pirates haven’t managed a playoff birth in 21 years, and manager Clint Hurdle is hoping some veteran depth on the team will help. According to Hurdle:
“Marlon Byrd is an impactful bat with significant numbers against left-handed pitching and John Buck is a strong receiver who works well with a pitching staff. Those were areas we were looking to improve upon and strengthen and the trade also adds a couple of layers of experience to our club.”
Pittsburgh started the day a half-game back from St. Louis in the National League Central, and St. Louis took sole possession of first place after beating the Cincinnati Reds with a final score of 8-5.
In exchange for some veteran experience, the Pirates sent minor league infielder Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later in exchange for Byrd, Buck and cash considerations.
Speaking of the team’s move, Pirates second baseman Neil Walker said: “It’s pretty neat to see us make a move like this. We didn’t expect something to happen this late. You usually figure it is something that would happen at the (July 31 non-waiver) trade deadline. But these are established guys who can help us get to where we want to go.”
Byrd at 35-years-old is having a career season with 21 home runs, 71 RBIs, and a.345 batting average. Byrd is especially important in the outfield as leadoff hitter Starling Marte continues to recover from a sprained right hand.
Buck in the meantime is no slouch with a.215 batting average, 15 home runs, and 60 RBIs. Buck will back up catcher Russell Martin
Both men will join the Pirates on Wednesday night when they take on the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Pirates have been carried along this season almost entirely on the shoulders of its pitching staff. The team is hoping to take some stress off their pitchers with the additions of Marlon Byrd and John Buck.
Do you think the veteran MLB players will help the Pittsburgh Pirates reach the MLB postseason?