Reds trade Byrd to San Francisco
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The San Francisco Giants acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd and cash Thursday from the Cincinnati Reds to boost their injury-plagued outfield.
A day after losing out on second baseman Chase Utley, whom the Phillies traded to the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, the defending World Series champions made their own move to boost an outfield that has dealt with injuries to all three starters. San Francisco trails LA by two games.
Center fielder Angel Pagan is on the 15-day disabled list with a right knee injury.
Left fielder Nori Aoki came off the seven-day concussion list Thursday ahead of the series opener at Pittsburgh as right fielder Hunter Pence went on the DL with a strained left oblique injury.
Pence has been limited to 52 games after beginning the season on the disabled list with a broken left arm, which prevented him joining the lineup until May 16. He is hitting .275 with nine homers.
The Giants discussed a deal for Byrd last month before the non-waiver trading deadline, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said.
The talks resumed the past three days with San Francisco dealing with so many injuries.
Byrd, 37, hit .237 with 19 home runs and 42 RBIs in 96 games with the Reds.
The Giants become his seventh team since 2012. He wasn’t available for comment before the trade was announced in Cincinnati.
Pittsburgh is only a five-hour drive from Cincinnati, so Byrd could join his new team quickly.
“This was another opportunity to give one of our veteran players a chance to go to a contending club and help them get to the postseason,” Jocketty said.
“(Giants) have had a lot of injuries in the outfield. … So he’ll get plenty of playing time there, and as we transition to playing more younger players.”
The Giants sent minor league reliever Stephen Johnson to the Reds. The 24-year-old right-hander was 3-0 with a 3.41 ERA in 44 games with Double-A Richmond.
The Reds acquired Byrd from the Phillies last Dec. 31 to fill a void in left field, but now the team is out of contention and Byrd is a pricey piece. He is earning $8 million this year and has an $8 million club option for 2016 that becomes guaranteed if he has 509 at-bats this year. He currently has 359 at-bats. He missed time with a broken left wrist after being hit by a pitch.
The Reds got cash from the Phillies to cover part of Byrd’s salary last December. They sent some of the money to the Giants as part of the deal.