One of the biggest surprises this season for Mets fans was the resurgence of outfielder Marlon Byrd. After an uninspiring 2012, which was marred by poor play and a drug suspension, Byrd was signed off the scrap heap by the Mets and quickly blossomed into one of the best stories of the 2013 season.
In 117 games with the Mets, Byrd hit an outstanding .285/.330/.518 with a 136 wRC+, while smashing a career-high 21 home runs. Byrd was looked at as likely trade bait down the stretch, and on August 27 the Mets sent Byrd and John Buck to the Pirates for second base prospect Dilson Herrera and hard-throwing reliever Vic Black.
Although it was essentially waving the white flag on the Mets' season, the trade was just the start of something special for Marlon Byrd, who became a crucial asset for the Pirates in their hunt for October. Byrd however, remained a supporter of the Mets organization who gave him a chance. In an interview with the NY Daily News' Kristie Ackert, Byrd suggested that he'd be open to a Mets reunion, even going as far as stating:
"I’ve talked to Sandy, I told him thank you for the opportunity at the beginning of the year and thank you for the opportunity to play for a winner," Byrd said of his conversation with the Mets general manager. " I told him, ‘If you want me back, I would love to come back,’."
Byrd went on to say how much he loved playing for the Mets organization and specifically Terry Collins. So if Byrd were open to a reunion, it becomes an issue of cost and whether or not the Mets are ready to move on.
It would seem that Byrd is in the second tier of outfield options going into the offseason. If the Mets are to follow the Boston Red Sox' approach, then perhaps someone like Byrd becomes a target on a short-term, baseline contract. Though it is tough to assume Byrd will be able to reproduce his production from this year, he surely could be on the table if the Mets were unable to land Shin-Soo Choo or Jacoby Ellsbury.