In true Ruben Amaro Jr. fashion, the Phillies GM struck quick during the GM Meetings in Orlando, FL, signing Marlon Byrd away from the two's of teams that may have been interested in the 36 year-old outfielder. Byrd will presumably be taking the spot that was vacated by last year's big signing, Delmon Young. The two-year, $16MM deal - that was reportedly drawn up in red crayon while Amaro attended a tea party with stuffed animals - makes Byrd the sixth highest paid player on the Phillies roster. I'll let that one sink in for a moment.
The trouble with signing Byrd is that, well, he's 36. And, well, here's a list of his wRC+ numbers since his big league debut in 2002:
2002 - 61
2003 - 109
2004 - 55
2005 - 86
2006 - 78
2007 - 109
2008 - 122
2009 - 103
2010 - 108
2011 - 94
2012 - 26
2013 - 136
Oh, I see what happened. Marlon Byrd went and had himself a career year in his age-35 season. Gee, I don't think I have ever seen that before.
So, to recap, Marlon Byrd has been an average-at-best baseball player throughout his career (minus his 2008 season in Texas). Marlon Byrd then went and had his best season at the age of 35. Ruben Amaro Jr. is incredibly gullible. Ruben Amaro Jr. breaks out the checkbook and signs Marlon Byrd to a two-year contract.
I care a lot less if Amaro and the Phillies offer a one-year deal. One year is "whatever." One year is "Thanks for coming out." One year is, well, one year. There is no, "Man, that guy was terrible, hopefully he can turn it around next year when he is even older."
I imagine that most Phillies fans look like this whenever they see Amaro's name pop up in a news report regarding some (read: "Any") free agent:
But don't worry, Phillies fans. I'm sure it can only get better when you find out that your hometown boys are interested in David Price. And that any trade involving Price going to the Phillies would include Dominic Brown. Oh, wait, that would mean an outfield of Marlon Byrd, Ben Revere and Darin Ruf. Well, at least you guys still have Ryan Howard, right?