Just like when the Mets picked Hairston off the scrap heap, Byrd is doing his best to impersonate Hairston while playing a little bit above his head. Through 57 games, Byrd has posted a more-than impressive .817 OPS to go with 11 home runs and 33 RBI’s. Those are fine numbers and even better when you consider Byrd doesn’t even play every day.
Outside of David Wright, the Mets don’t have a righty bat they can count on. So, the presence of Byrd has been a pleasant surprise and a needed one.
After battling injuries and suspensions Byrd’s career got sidetracked, as he only appeared in 166 games in the previous two years. Combining the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Byrd had 10 home runs and 44 RBI’s in 589 at bats. This year, Byrd is on pace for 26 home runs and 79 RBI’s in 449 at bats.
Obviously, Byrd will have a hard time reaching those numbers this year, but his veteran presence and newfound power stroke is a nice asset any team would love to have.
With that said, Byrd may be on borrowed time in Queens, as he’ll likely be shopped at the trade deadline. While Byrd will not yield a fruitful package of prospects, the Mets have to do the right thing and sell high on him and get something for him. This is what they should have done with Hairston (who posted a similar OPS—.803—with the Mets last year) at last year’s deadline. You know the rest of the story. Hairston would end his season with the Mets while offering little for a losing team. He would then get stiffed by the Mets in the offseason and wound up in Chicago.
Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself.
Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson has reiterated time and time again that the Mets will make the necessary moves to make the team more formidable on offense in the years to come. This is all about building for the future, a future Byrd likely has no shot of being part of.
Again, we should salute the effort and production Byrd is bringing to the table this year and enough can’t be said about how rejuvenated he looks at the plate. However, the Mets have been preaching about the future and they have to strike while the iron is hot. They must deal Byrd while getting some lower-level products in return.
Just like Hairston, there is no reason for Byrd to rot here with a losing club just to bolt the team in the offseason with no compensation.