Source: Mets not likely to trade Marlon Byrd
MIAMI -- Unless the offers improve significantly before Wednesday's's 4 p.m. nonwaiver trade deadline, Marlon Byrd's resurgent season will roll on in a Mets uniform. A deal appears unlikely, according to a person familiar with the Mets' thinking, although the team expects ongoing dialogue leading up to the deadline.
Industry sources have said the Mets could land a midlevel prospect for Byrd, who's hitting .282 with a team-high 17 homers and 60 RBIs. But his steady production has put the Mets in position to wait for better offers.
The Mets also could choose to keep Byrd.
The source also said the Mets have engaged in few talks regarding Bobby Parnell. The Mets set a high price for the closer and were unlikely to move him.
Publicly, the Mets have stressed the importance of winning as many games as possible in the second half, regardless of their postseason chances. Terry Collins reiterated that Tuesday before playing the Marlins.
Said Collins: "We owe our fans some competition, too.''
The Mets have enjoyed nearly two months of steady play. At 48-56 after beating the Marlins Tuesday night, they were 121/2 games out of first place and 91/2 games out of a wild-card berth. Their chances of playing in October are slim -- but not extinguished.
"We're trying to win games here,'' Collins said. "We're not just throwing the season away.''
Byrd, 35, has been traded twice, and he said experience has been the best teacher.
"I think about it not one bit,'' he said Tuesday. "If we get traded, we pack up, we go to the next city. It's as simple as that. I've done it before.''
Byrd recalls instances when trade rumors got the best of him. "It's tough,'' he said. "It starts bothering you, it starts affecting you.''
But he said he's learned to tune out trade talk, as he displayed Monday, when he made a mad dash from first base to score the eventual winning run.
Whatever happens, Byrd is enjoying a career season the year after his worst. He was hitting only .210 last year with a homer and nine RBIs. He had already been jettisoned by the Cubs and Red Sox when he was slapped with a 50-game suspension for using a banned substance.
He trained near his home in California, then wound up in the Mexican League. Only the Mets and Indians showed interest. Once the Indians signed free agent Michael Bourn, Byrd was left with one suitor, the Mets.
"In Marlon's case, he's driven to prove to people he can still play,'' Collins said. "I think that's why you saw what he did all last year, all winter long, all spring training long, and how he's competing now. He's driven to make sure everybody still knows he still has life in him.''