Friday, July 14, 2006

Bye Bye Byrdie

The Nationals have designated Marlon Byrd for Assignment, bringing an end to what seemed like a promising trade. At the same time, they've announced the signing of former Oriole, Luis Matos, who will likely be given every opportunity to win the starting job.

Matos is a good pickup, giving the Nats something they've lacked: a flycatcher in center. He's a terrific defensive centerfielder, and he's likely to impress us by running down drives that dropped behind Byrd or hit Jackson in the head.

Offensively, he's not much. He's having a terrible year, hitting .207/ .278/ .331, but he has shown promise in the past. (In 2003, he hit .303/ .353/ .458). For the most part, he's a line-drive singles hitter who cranks the occasional homer. He's got a little bit of speed, even if he's not a pure base stealer. Truthfully, he's not all that different from the player the Nats traded to get Marlon Byrd. It's just that they're not making any mistakes trying to mold a lump of crap into a marble statue. Hopefully, since he's new, they'll take what he offers, good defense, and so-so offense.

The knock on him has been his attitude, but also his health. He's not quite Escobar when it comes to injuries, but he's broken almost every bone there is to break, most famously when he broke his finger while bunting. Apparently, you're not supposed to hang your fingers on the other side of the bat where the ball connects. Huh? Who knew?

As far as Byrd, the DFA is a procedural move. He's basically in limbo now, having been taken off the Nats 40-man roster. The Nats have 10 days to figure out what to do with him. They can trade him (though no one's likely to take him), they can release him, or they can try to send him to the minors. Although Byrd, at this point in his career, has the right to veto a move to the minors, which would make him a free agent. I would hope that he'd accept the assignment to New Orleans, if only so I can see my much lusted for dream platoon of Church and Byrd.

  • Luis Matos' stats.
    Marlon Byrd's stats.

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