Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports the Phillies have traded right fielder Marlon Byrd to the Cincinnati Reds for minor league pitcher Ben Lively.
Byrd 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. Byrd batted .264/.312/.445 with 25 home runs and 85 RBIs in 154 games for the Phillies in 2014. He provided valuable right-handed power batting behind Ryan Howard in the Phillies lineup.
Lively, 22, went 13-7 with a 3.04 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in 26 starts between Single-A and Double-A in 2014. He was a fourth round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft out of the University of Central Florida and MLB.com rated Lively as the Reds' eighth-best prospect.
Lively's average stuff combined with plus deception have some thinking of him as the right-handed version of Tony Cingrani. The Reds can only hope this Central Florida product can follow the same quick path to Cincinnati.
None of Lively's pitches jump off the page, but he does have four of them that he can throw for strikes. His fastball can touch 93-94 mph, and his slider shows signs of being a potential above-average pitch, as well. Lively mixes in his curve and changeup well to keep hitters guessing. All of his stuff plays up because of his unusual delivery in which his arm stays hidden, making it tough for hitters to pick up the ball.
It only took Cingrani a year to make an impact in Cincy. Lively could be on a similar fast track.