It appears as if the Cincinnati Reds aren't quite done trading away pieces that don't fit into their future plans. Thursday afternoon, the team sent veteran OF Marlon Byrd to the San Francisco Giants for RHP Steve Johnson, according to the team.
Reds send Marlon Byrd to Giants for RHP Steve Johnson.— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 20, 2015
Byrd, who will turn 38 years old in 10 days, was hitting just .237/.286/.448 for the Reds in his first season with the club, but he has bonked 19 homers on the season and provides at least a reasonable amount of production for a corner outfielder at his current salary. That, you'll remember, was just $4 million for the Reds, as the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to pay the other half of his yearly $8 million rate when he was traded for RHP Ben Lively prior to the start of the 2015 season.
Though the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline usually marks the end of the major trade fireworks in MLB, the waiver trade period lasts for another full month. The only difference between the two is that in order for players to be traded, they either must be sent to the one team that claimed them, or they must pass through waivers entirely unclaimed before being shipped out. I've not yet seen whether this trade was made because the Giants claimed Byrd or if he passed through unclaimed, but I'm sure we'll hear about that shortly. My guess is that he passed through entirely, likely due to his contract containing a $8 million vesting option for 2016 should he reach 550 PA in 2015. *(UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Byrd did, in fact, clear waivers before the trade.)*
The Giants had a need for Byrd once Hunter Pence tweaked an oblique muscle earlier this week, and Byrd will likely get plenty of opportunities to play corner OF for San Francisco as the Giants look to make the playoffs yet again.
As for the Reds return, RHP Steve Johnson was a 6th round pick by San Francisco in the 2012 MLB Draft, and the 24 year old has been a powerful reliever for AA Richmond so far in 2015, keeping a K/9 over 10.0 for the second consecutive season. According to Walt Jocketty, he'll report to AA Pensacola.
The trade of Byrd just a day after Billy Hamilton hit the 15-day DL has opened up the OF roster floodgates for Cincinnati in this lost season, and John Fay chimed in with the latest news.
#Reds will bring up Ryan LaMarre to take Byrd’s roster spot. Boesch, Bourgeois will play left.— John Fay (@johnfayman) August 20, 2015
It's going to be a long, long September.