The Philadelphia Phillies continue to shop outfielder Marlon Byrd, but his market appears to be drying up, as talks with the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals, two of the chief pursuers in the Byrd sweepstakes, have died down. According to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Byrd is no longer an option for the Royals, while discussions with the Mariners "remain stalled."
Though the Royals and Mariners have been the two teams most heavily linked to Byrd, they are also among just four clubs on his limited no-trade list, along with the Rays and Blue Jays. The only way for either of those clubs to maneuver a deal is by getting Byrd to waive his no-trade clause, which he has stated would only happen if his 2016 team option were to become guaranteed. Byrd is owed $8 million next season, and carries a $8 million club option for 2016, when he will be 38-years-old, so it makes sense that he would want some long-term security.
Byrd is in the midst of an excellent year with the Phillies, hitting .266/.316/.478 with a 119 OPS+ and 2.6 WAR. He is one of just two NL outfielders (the other being Giancarlo Stanton) to have hit 20 home runs this season. The 36-year-old Byrd was even better last season, posting a 137 OPS+ and 5.1 WAR in 579 plate appearances with the Mets and Pirates. Ironically, Byrd's production has picked up significantly since being suspended 50 games for PED use in 2012.
Byrd's salary and wanting to have his 2016 option guaranteed is likely the reason for a lack of movement in talks with other clubs. Both the Royals and Mariners aren't ones to generally take on a significant amount of payroll, and the Mariners already have a glut of corner outfielder/DH/first base types that was only further complicated by last week's addition of Kendrys Morales from the Twins, though Byrd would represent a tremendous upgrade over Endy Chavez in right.