Pirates acquire Byrd, Buck in deal with Mets

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck in a trade Tuesday with the New York Mets.

The Mets, who announced the deal in a press release, received infield prospect Dilson Herrera and a player to be named.

Pittsburgh, which is attempting to reach the postseason for the first time since 1992, certainly bolstered its offense with the addition of Byrd, who is batting .285 with a career-high 21 home runs and 71 RBIs this season.

The 35-year-old Byrd should help the Pirates overcome the absence of leadoff hitter and star left fielder Starling Marte, who is on the disabled list with a hand injury. Buck, who has 15 homers and 60 RBIs, figures to serve as a backup to Pirates catcher Russell Martin.

Pittsburgh (76-54) entered Tuesday a half-game behind the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the NL Central.

Pittsburgh is searching for offense to take some of the pressure off a pitching staff that has carried the team for long stretches during the first five months of the season. The Pirates lead the majors with a 3.21 ERA, though there have been signs of wear and tear this month. Pittsburgh is 11-12 in August and has seen a four-game lead over St. Louis two weeks ago turn into a virtual tie.

Byrd has been hot since the All-Star break, hitting .311 with 11 doubles, three triples, six home runs and 20 RBIs in his last 38 games. His presence should help an offense that is batting just .244 on the year, including an abysmal .223 with runners in scoring position, the second-lowest average in baseball.

The Mets parted ways with the veteran duo one day after announcing that ace pitcher Matt Harvey has a partially torn ligament in his elbow and may require Tommy John surgery. After announcing the trade Tuesday, the Mets placed Harvey on the 15-day DL and promoted outfielder Matt den Dekker, left-hander Robert Carson and catcher Anthony Recker from Triple-A Las Vegas.

New York decided to retain Byrd at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, citing a lack of attractive offers as well as a desire to finish the season strongly. Only $130,000 remains owed on Byrd’s salary this season.

The Mets also passed on trading Buck at the non-waiver deadline, but the circumstances have changed at catcher. Rookie Travis d’Arnaud is receiving the bulk of the playing time, having recovered from a fractured first metatarsal in his left foot. D’Arnaud made his major league debut Aug. 17.

Herrera, 19, is batting .265 with 11 homers at Class A West Virginia this season. The second baseman appeared in this year’s All-Star Futures Game at Citi Field.

Information from ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin and The Associated Press was used in this report.

This article was originally posted on ESPN.com


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