A year ago at this time, the Mets were considering whether to bring back Scott Hairston. After all, he had a career year for them in 2012, hitting 20 home runs. Ultimately, the Mets did not want to commit two years to Hairston., and away he went. It turned out to be the right decision. So why are we having the same conversation now about Marlon Byrd?
Like Hairston, Byrd had a career year for the Mets in 2013, coming out of nowhere to hit a team-leading 21 homers, to go along with 71 RBIs and a .285 batting average. This was before he was sent to Pittsburgh in late August.
Now there is talk that the Mets are thinking about signing Byrd again this off-season. As I said last year about Hairston, the Mets should just thank Marlon Byrd for a good season and move on.
Byrd will turn 37 during the 2014 season. There is no reason to think that Byrd can repeat his performance at his advanced age. Hairston turned 33 this year and he could not come close to his 2012 production, hitting only 10 homers and batting an embarrassing .191. Oh, and did I mention that the Cubs gave Hairston his two years, and admitted to the mistake in July when they sent him to the Nationals for an unheralded minor leaguer?
Obviously Scott Hairston and Marlon Byrd are different players, so it is really not fair to compare them. But the situations are identical — an average player has a surprisingly good year late in his career, so it is enticing to think he can do it again. Hairston could not, and I’m betting that Byrd can’t, either.
The Mets just need to move on and find players for now and for the future. Marlon Byrd is neither.