Bruce Bochy hasn't been shy when it comes to voicing his love for Marlon Byrd, and his desire to retain the outfielder for 2016, and while the Giants could still bring him back, it will need to be via free agency.
Had San Francisco not fallen out of the playoff race on Tuesday night, there was a strong likelihood that Byrd would have reached 550 plate appearances, which would have triggered a vesting option worth $8 million.
However since the Giants are no longer in contention, as well as the fact that they want younger players like Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker to get some major league experience as the season winds down, Byrd won't be getting the remaining 15 at-bats he needs.
"That doesn't mean the Giants will cage Byrd through Sunday and let him fly away without a word. GM Bobby Evans said the club would like to re-sign Byrd for next season, and that interest has been communicated to him. Bochy also said he would take Byrd aside.
Byrd, never breaking stride as he exited the postgame clubhouse, confirmed he talked with club officials but declined to opine on whether he had grounds for a grievance. 'I haven't thought on it', Byrd Said."
Unfortunately for Byrd, this doesn't look like a situation in which he could file a grievance against the club for holding him out, as they have a legitimate reason to give their rookies a chance to play. After a resurgence with the Giants, in which he posted a slash line of .275/.306/.449 with an ISO of .174, and a wRC+ of 108, Byrd will likely be able to command at least a one-year deal in the range of $5-$8 million; and San Francisco is well within their right to see if Williamson, or Parker might be ready for a platoon role in 2016.
There's also the possibility that Kelby Tomlinson, who was brought up to fill in for Joe Panik, could work his way into the outfield next season, as the Giants would like him to take fly balls in either the fall league, or the instructional league. San Francisco clearly has options going into 2016, and if Byrd is too expensive, or simply decides to sign elsewhere, it won't have a dramatic impact on their potential success.