Farewell, Marlon Byrd

Thank You Marlon Byrd Pittsburgh Pirates 2013

At this time last year, Marlon Byrd was working to earn an eventual $700K contract from the New York Mets. Now, he’s deservedly received a big time payday from the Philadelphia Phillies.

However, we won’t forget his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates in between. It was barely over a month, but the Byrdman came to the Burgh and symbolized something we’ve been missing for two decades: winning. The 36-year-old was a loser 12 months ago, coming off a miserable year with a PED suspension to show for it. But he worked hard, understood his mistakes, mashed the ball in New York, came to Pittsburgh and took everything in stride. With a .318/.357/.486 line down the stretch, Byrd was everything the Pirates needed in right field. Then he hit .364/.391/.591 in October, including the first postseason home run ever at PNC Park in his first postseason at-bat:

Just like the 2013 Pirates, Byrd entered the season as an underdog and exited with a completely different image.

Now, that improved image has earned him a two-year, $16 million deal with the Phillies.

A big thank you to Marlon Byrd for playing solid baseball, acknowledging us, and more importantly, representing the new era of Pirates baseball. Good luck in Philadelphia. Byrd is still the word.

Go Bucs

MLB Free Agency: Open for Business

Josh Hamilton is one of the top free agents this offseason. (Keith Allison/Creative Commons)

Free agency is officially underway in Major League Baseball. The Pirates probably won’t make a big splash, but could add depth at some point this offseason. Here are a few links to get you started on this year’s ‘Hot Stove’:

- Many teams made qualifying offers to their top free agents. If the player rejects the offer and signs somewhere else, the team receives a compensation draft pick.

- Dan Haren was reportedly involved in a deal that would have sent him to the Cubs in exchange for Carlos Marmol. However, the proposed trade was called off. The Angels then declined Haren’s option, and he’s now a free agent.

- David Ortiz is close to signing a new two-year deal with the Red Sox.

- Video: MLB.com’s Jim Duquette breaks down the top free agents.

- Dave Schoenfield of ESPN.com takes a look at the top 10 storylines of the offseason.

- Stay up-to-date with MLB.com’s Hot Stove Tracker.

- You can predict where players will land with MLB.com’s Free Agent Frenzy.

Around the League:
- Major League Baseball donated $1 million for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
- The Astros unveiled their new uniforms.
- The Marlins hired Mike Redmond to be their new manager.
- The Dodgers may hire Mark McGwire to be their hitting coach.