The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired outfielder Marlon Bryd and catcher John Buck from the New York Mets in exchange for minor league infielder Dilson Herrera and a player-to-be-named-later, which was announced on Wednesday as pitcher Vic Black.
To make room for Byrd and Buck on the 40-man roster, the Pirates designated Triple-A first baseman Russ Canzler for assignment and recalled pitcher Kyle McPherson from Triple-A Indianapolis and placed him on the 60-day DL. The Pirates sent pitcher Jeff Locke and catcher Tony Sanchez to Double-A Altoona to make room on the 25-man roster for Buck and Byrd.
“In our minds Marlon Byrd upgrades our offense right now,” Huntington said. “He’s having a very good year, he’s a veteran player, he’s been around and is respected within the clubhouses and most importantly, he’s made us better.”
The Pirates brought in Byrd to help their struggling offense. He brings a .285/.330/.884 slash to to the Bucs with 21 home runs and 71 RBIs. His OPS makes him the second-best hitter in the category trailing center fielder Andrew McCutchen.
One thing the Pirates have struggled with this season is hitting left-handed pitching. Byrd bats .290/.343/.803 with 37 home runs in his career against lefties. This season Byrd is hitting .345/.383/.980 against southpaws.
On Wednesday night Byrd made his Pirates debut. He went 1-for-4 with a three-run home run in the seventh.
The addition of Byrd gives Pittsburgh more flexibility in the lineup, and it will hopefully spark the Pirates offense enough to regain first place.
The veteran Buck is hitting .215/.285./.652 with 15 home runs this season. The addition of Buck is a slight upgrade over Sanchez.
“We’re excited about the opportunity that both of the men have coming our way in John and Marlon,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “One’s an impactful bat, has had significant numbers against left-handed pitching as well so those were some areas were looking to improve and strengthen, and John Buck is a veteran receiver.”
Both Locke and Sanchez should return on Sept.3 when the roster expands.
“It’s important for us to have three catchers we feel very good about,” Huntington said. “We love Tony Sanchez, Russ Martin has done everything we have asked from him and more, but we’re one injury away from being a little shallow.’