ESPN's Jerry Crasnick report the Seattle Mariners, who are not quiet in their search for a right-handed bat, have been scouting Phillies rightfielder Marlon Byrd. Just last weekend, I wrote about the fit of Byrd with the Mariners when the Phillies ultimately decide to sell off their valuable pieces.
However, there's a new ripple. Byrd has a limited no-trade list and the Mariners have made the list. CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury reports Byrd's contract allows him to block a trade to four teams: the Mariners, Royals, Blue Jays and Rays.
This is a problem because two of the four teams, the Mariners and Royals, are looking for right-handed power bats. There is no word from Byrd whether he would waive his no-trade clause to join one of these teams but that's a new development.
Byrd, who turns 37 on August 30th, could be a solid addition for a Mariners club looking for their first postseason appearance since 2001. Byrd is batting .261/.313/.481 with 18 home runs and 52 RBIs in 91 games for the Phillies this season. He has provided valuable right-handed power batting behind Ryan Howard in the Phillies lineup.
One stumbling block for any potential Byrd deal is his contract. He is owed just $2.61 million following the July 31st trading deadline but is guaranteed $8 million next season as a 37-year-old with an $8 million vesting option for 2016. If the 2016 option doesn't vest with 600 plate appearances in 2015 then it becomes a team option.
The $8 million guaranteed for an outfielder in his late-30s might be a turn off but for an American League team who could potentially utilize him as a designated hitter from time to time it might not be so bad.
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