Pirates acquire Marlon Byrd and John Buck from Mets
The Pirates executed a trade with the Mets on Tuesday that landed Byrd and catcher John Buck in Pittsburgh, while the Mets received a minor league player and another player to be named later.
This is a solid trade for both teams, particularly the Pirates. Though they have two sensational outfielders in Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte, the Pirates have hardly gotten any production from their third outfield spot. Byrd was batting .275 for the Mets with 21 home runs and 71 RBI this season. Buck will fill the backup catcher role made vacant by the season-ending knee injury to Michael McKenry. Though he is only batting .215 this season, Buck has hit 15 home runs and racked up 60 RBI.
The Pirates are not really in any danger of missing the playoffs, as they are firmly in the lead for a wild card spot and are just half a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the NL Central. Their hope, however, is that this trade could help them top the Cardinals by season's end, which would allow them to avoid playing in a one-game series with the other wild card team.
As for the Mets, they are not in contention for the playoffs this year, and both Byrd and Buck will be free agents after the season. The Mets had no reason to keep either player around, and did well to get something in return for them. The absence of Buck will allow promising young prospect Travis d'Arnaud to get the bulk of the work behind the plate down the stretch.