— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) November 13, 2013
Marlon Byrd was one of the most surprising players to break out in 2013. The New York Mets took a flier on him, signing him to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It was on the heels of Byrd’s awful 2012 campaign, when he posted an aggregate adjusted OPS of 33 — with a .210/.243/.245 line — with the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox. At the age of 35, Byrd rewarded the Mets with a 138 adjusted OPS in 464 trips to the plate. The Mets were so enamored with him they willingly passed up the opportunity to trade him to a contender by the July 31 deadline. Reluctantly, they traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates through waivers on August 27, just a few days before the waiver deadline and his 36th birthday. In 115 plate appearances with the Pirates, Byrd again posted a 138 adjusted OPS, then hit .364 with a pace-setting home run in the second inning of the Wild Card game against the Reds.
At some point in 2013, the clock was to strike midnight, turning Byrd back into a pumpkin, but it never happened. Aside from a cold April, Byrd posted an OPS of .805 or better in each month between May and the end of the season.
I was fairly unmoved by the trade to acquire Ben Revere. On the one hand, getting anything serviceable for Vance Worley and Trevor May seems like a win on its face. Worley’s magic had just about run out, and May’s prospect star had dimmed out of the main sequence and into the “probable reliever” spectrum. Revere, though, did not seem like the everyday outfielder that the Phillies required.