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2014 MLB Free Agent Profile: Marlon Byrd

Byrd was a revelation in 2013, but does he have an encore performance in store?

Jim McIsaac

Marlon Byrd was one of the Mets’ best players in 2013. Signed for the ridiculously low price of $700,000 coming off a PED suspension, Byrd hit .285/.330/.518 and provided solid right field defense before being traded with John Buck to the Pirates for prospects Vic Black and Dilson Herrera, where he continued to excel at a .318/.357/.486 clip.

Byrd finished the season with a line of .291/.336/.511, hitting a career-high 24 home runs and driving in 88, one away from tying his career-high in 2009. He led the Mets in home runs while only playing 117 games with the team. Despite character concerns over his 2012 suspension, Byrd proved to be an asset in the clubhouse, mentoring younger players and even offering to teach Josh Satin how to play the outfield to help him become a more versatile player.

The cost

Forget the bargain basement price the Mets paid Byrd this year. It was hilariously cost-effective and will not happen again. Coming off a career-year, Byrd will command a higher salary, though he should remain within the Mets’ budget.

The fit

Byrd put up great numbers for the Mets, slots nicely in right field, and already said he would be thrilled to return to the team. On the other hand, he will be 37 by midseason and has a career slugging percentage .145 points below what he posted in 2013.

Whether Byrd is a fit with the Mets for 2014 and beyond depends largely on whether he can match or even approach his 2013 production. If yes, then he’s a fit for most teams, especially the Mets. If age catches up to him, it could be a completely different story. Byrd seemed to figure things out this season, and while it’s unrealistic to expect him to duplicate his 2013 output, he could contribute above career norms and give the Mets something better than they currently have. He wouldn't be a game-changing signing, but he could be a helpful piece to the puzzle.