A.J. Burnett and Marlon Byrd increase their trade value (and lead Philadelphia Phillies to a 5-2 win over San Diego Padres)
By Mike Lacy
Jun 10, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) throws a pitch during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
For the die-hard optimists among the Phillies fan base, last night was a good night. To them, the win over the Padres might signify the beginning of the Phillies’ turnaround, and indicate that a lengthy winning streak is forthcoming.
For the rest of us who have already given up hope that the Phillies will be contenders this season, last night was still a good night, mostly because they received strong showings from a couple of players who will likely be available on the trade market.
Jun 10, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Marlon Byrd (3) watches his three run home run in the 4th inning against the San Diego Padres at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
The Phillies signed A.J. Burnett and Marlon Byrd this offseason in hopes that they would supplement a strong core and help the Phillies contend. But both players were also signed to deals that made them potentially tradeable if things didn’t work out.
Obviously the contention part hasn’t quite happened, and Byrd and Burnett have been inconsistent. But over the coming weeks, if either player can deliver more performances like the ones they gave last night, there will probably be more than a few teams interested in acquiring them.
Burnett shook off his recent control problems to pitch 7.1 innings, giving up two runs. Byrd’s three-run home run – his tenth of the season – was the biggest blow for the Phillies on offense.
When a contending team begins looking for a mid-rotation starter or an outfielder with some pop, the Phillies may be one of the first places they turn.
The game was closed out by another player who is available for a trade. Jonathan Papelbon‘s save wasn’t pretty – he loaded the bases – but he eventually escaped unscathed. Could his strong season tempt a team in need of relief help into giving up something of value?
For one night at least, no matter how optimistic you are about the Phillies, you got to enjoy yourself. And who knows, if Byrd, Burnett, and others continue to play that well, maybe we’ll all start to become optimists.