Nov 19, 2009, 3:10 PM EDT
MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd is unlikely to re-sign with the Rangers after the two sides recently had unproductive talks.
“We’ve had a decent amount of conversation,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “I expect them to test the market. Based on what they’re looking for … we’re not in a position to do that right now. We expect them to talk to other clubs and see what’s out there. We’re going to be looking at alternatives.”
Byrd was the Rangers’ primary center fielder and also saw extended action in left field, hitting .283/.329/.479 with 20 homers and 43 doubles in 599 plate appearances. After a slow start to his career the former top prospect has batted .295/.352/.468 in three seasons with the Rangers, and even adjusting for Texas’ hitter-friendly ballpark that would make him solidly above average offensively among center fielders.
However, his defense in center field graded out poorly this season according to Ultimate Zone Rating, he’s always carried more weight than most center fielders, and he’s 32 years old, so many teams will likely view Byrd as a corner outfielder who can handle center field if needed rather than a full-time center fielder. Texas seems committed to Julio Borbon in center field after he impressed offensively in 46 games as a rookie, leaving Josh Hamilton to man right field.
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