Byrd’s In Hand

Be prepared for a lot more of that headline over the next 24 hours.

Paul Byrd is a member of the Red Sox. No word on who the Sox gave up to get him, or even why they did. We can assume it has something to do with the injury to Wakefield and the ineffectiveness of Buchholz, but he can only replace one pitcher in the rotation.

My only memory of Byrd is hating his guts last season, him and his luck-fueled fluke of a 15-win season. And then he went and shut down the Sox in the ALCS, putting us on the brink of elimination.

Still, he’s our Byrd now, and he’s been pretty good of late. going 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last five starts. Not too thrilled by the 17 strikeouts he’s posted over that time though. Also, one must wonder how good a guy really is when he cleared almost every other team in baseball.

53 comments… add one
  • Yet another gritty, gutsy player added to the Sox team.

    John - YF August 12, 2008, 4:29 pm
  • Couldn’t hurt.
    Could it?

    Kazz August 12, 2008, 4:31 pm
  • hmmmm…now the sox have their own pettitte. it’s gonna be hard for me to root for paul. i guess paul’s excuse of “i have a pituitary gland issue.” is at least slightly more buyable than, “i forgot what i was doing for 2 days, or maybe more than 2 days, or…..where am i?”. regardless, cheatin is cheatin.

    sf rod August 12, 2008, 4:35 pm
  • Not to try to start something but it will be interesting to see how those who have criticized the yankees for our PED users will react to this signing given Byrd’s HGH past.

    Sam-YF August 12, 2008, 4:37 pm
  • that was a cross post with Rod….

    Sam-YF August 12, 2008, 4:37 pm
  • Pete Abe is reporting that the Yankees had a chance to block the transaction, but chose not to. Hmmmm Rasner Vs. Byrd…

    John - YF August 12, 2008, 4:38 pm
  • Kind of weird to me that Cashman didn’t pull this trigger.
    He’s clearly better than Rasner, and to date has a better ERA+ than Pettitte, Ponson, Rasner, and Mussina Light. Even if you want to take out of context his stats since the ASB, he’s had a comperable year to all of those guys, and better than a couple of them.
    Maybe they’re just tired of making moves.

    Brad August 12, 2008, 4:39 pm
  • ugh, I have no interest in rooting for this guy. I’d rated have seen Bowden given a shot.
    So here’s to no-decisions in Sox victories when he starts or late-game miracles erasing Byrd’s failings. I just can’t get behind this guy with any energy at all.

    SF August 12, 2008, 4:40 pm
  • Or realize that there isn’t a lot of common sense in spending any more money this year.

    Brad August 12, 2008, 4:41 pm
  • Bowden will be up soon enuogh.

    Brad August 12, 2008, 4:42 pm
  • Just goes to show, I’d forgotten all about that HGH dust-up. I don’t know what you want people to say, Sam. That he shouldn’t be in baseball? Fine. He shouldn’t be in baseball. But he is, and now he’s pitching for the Red Sox with a chance to provide a boost in a key time. Should we all stop rooting for him? Should fans boo the crap out of him every time he takes the mound? I’m not too thrilled with anyone who takes HGH, and it’s nice from a petty us vs. them standpoint that more Yankees than Sox have been outed as having allegedly taken it, but I’m under no illusions that there’s plenty of players for whom I’ve cheered over the years that were cheaters.
    From a baseball standpoint, I think this is a good, low-risk, decent-upside move. The story Devine posted below indicates Byrd changed his delivery, and that’s led to his recent resurgence, which could indicate it’s a little more than smoke and mirrors. At any rate, they don’t need him to be even that good; they just need him to be better than Buchholz.

    Paul SF August 12, 2008, 4:42 pm
  • sam- count me in as an sf who will not be rooting for byrd. i won’t root against the sox, but i really hope paul has little success. no decisions followed by late inning sox comebacks will be what i’m hoping for when byrd starts.

    sf rod August 12, 2008, 4:43 pm
  • Is Buchholz reaching his innings cap? I mean, combined with miL and ML?

    Brad August 12, 2008, 4:44 pm
  • Paul Byrd rhp
    2 years/$14.25M (2006-07), plus 2008 club option
    1st off Cot’s Contracts is on the ball, they already have Byrd on the Sox page. Secondly, he’s a FA after the season, why not take a chance with him if you are the Yankees. It’s not like he is going to impede anyone’s progress. I have to ask, has Cash raised the white flag too OR does he have another move up his sleeve? I know Byrd’s not CC Sabathia, but he is sure as heck better than Ponson and Rasner and on top of that when have the Yankees EVER been shy about spending $?

    John - YF August 12, 2008, 4:47 pm
  • It can’t be as painful as watching wakefield pitch.
    Not to get on him, but his starts are the ones that I normally can’t sit and watch on a Saturday afternoon under any circumstances.

    Brad August 12, 2008, 4:47 pm
  • As noted when I posted (FRIST!) about this, I never liked Byrd, and still don’t… But what are SFs expected to do, root for the Boston to lose when he’s on the mound?
    And do we have any reason to believe he’s still taking HGH?

    Hudson August 12, 2008, 4:47 pm
  • I’m going with the white flag theory. Otherwise, it would have been NY. Cashman isn’t stupid. He knows that Byrd is a better option than some of his current staff, but at some point, and I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, Cashman has to realize that if you spend well over a quarter billion dollars to build a team year in and year out, sooner or later, guys already on the team are going to have to step up.

    Brad August 12, 2008, 4:49 pm
  • “…more Yankees than Sox have been outed…”
    well paul, to be honest, and you are a stat-guy after all, who professes to deal in facts, not emotion, more yankees were “outed”, because it was the yankee hamper that mitchell and selig were sniffing, and not the sox hamper…file under “setting the record straight”…

    dc August 12, 2008, 4:50 pm
  • Seems like a harmless move, with some possible upside if he pitches well for a few starts down the stretch. No commitment for ’09, and if needed, he is a veteran with some post-season experience.
    On the Yankees “not blocking the trade,” I’m sure what PeteAbe meant is that the Yankees didn’t put a claim in on Byrd, not that they heard the Red Sox were interested and did nothing. If both the Yankees and the Red Sox put a waiver claim in on the same player, the team with the worst record (i.e., the Yankees) would have the right to negotiate with the Tribe to acquire him. But apparently, the team with the worst record who put a claim in on Byrd was the Red Sox, and now they have him.

    yankees76 August 12, 2008, 4:50 pm
  • I was worried about calling Bowden up so soon. I’d rather at least wait until September, if possible, or let him get to spring training.

    Paul SF August 12, 2008, 4:51 pm
  • Eh, I happen to think that a HUGE percentage of baseball was on something at one point or another, so Byrd’s story doesn’t really bother me. He’s just not that good to me, but again, very rarely am I rooting against Boston.

    Brad August 12, 2008, 4:51 pm
  • byrd to rosenthal after being named…
    “I have not taken any hormone apart from a doctor’s care and supervision. The Indians, my coaches and MLB have known that I have had a pituitary gland issue for some time and have assisted me in getting blood tests in different states. I am currently working with an endocrinologist and will have another MRI on my head after the season to make sure that the tumor hasn’t grown…At the insistence of a close friend, I went and had my hormones checked . . . To my surprise, the doctor told me that I was producing very little growth hormone and prescribed a dosage to help me out. I didn’t like sticking a needle in my inner thigh each night but I sure did enjoy the sleep that occurred afterwards. My life changed during that time and I was able to work out more, experience less fatigue and recover quicker from pitching.”

    sf rod August 12, 2008, 4:52 pm
  • file under “setting the record straight”…
    Oh, no doubt, DC. I understand the reasons. I’m just sayin’: Glad it’s the Yankees, not the Sox.
    Considering how closely the Yanks were pursuing Westbrook, I’m also surprised they didn’t put in a claim here.

    Paul SF August 12, 2008, 4:54 pm
  • “The Yankees could have blocked him and apparently elected not to.”
    Just like the Sox blocked Giles from the Rays, the Yankees could have done the same. If they didn’t work out a trade, he goes back to the Indians, easy as that. Seems like a no brainer, why would you want the Sox to get better, even if it is only slightly.

    John - YF August 12, 2008, 4:57 pm
  • Paul,
    Im in no way saying that SFs should do anything but root for Byrd if they want. After all, we still root freely for Giambi and would have pulled for Byrd too had he ended up in pinstripes. But there has been a certain degree of moralizing about the yankees PED users, calling Giambi and Pettitte names, etc. There have been arguments here that certain games/seasons shouldnt be counted since admitted PED users were on the teams. My comment was more to underscore that no team is immune from employing these players. We as fans should be free to support our teams regardless of who they put out there if we chose to do so.

    Sam-YF August 12, 2008, 5:00 pm
  • “Eh, I happen to think that a HUGE percentage of baseball was on something…”
    schill…is that you?

    sf rod August 12, 2008, 5:01 pm
  • Apologies if this is a re-post. I thought I posted a reply but don’t see it now. Maybe it was the comment about the Mods’ moms (only kidding).
    This seems like a low-risk option for the Sox, with some upside if he pitches well for a few starts down the stretch. Byrd also is a veteran with some post-season experience, though unspectacular.
    In terms of the Yankees not blocking the move, what Pete Abe probably meant was that the Yankees didn’t put a claim in on Byrd. When a player is passed through waivers, any one or more of the other 29 teams can put a claim in on him. Then, the team with the worst win-loss record has the right to negotiate with the team who placed him on waivers (or that team can pull him off waivers). What Pete Abe logically concluded is that the Yankees hadn’t placed a claim on Byrd, because if they had, they would have been awarded the right to negotiate with the Tribe ahead of the Red Sox, given the current standings.
    But, it’s not like Cashman was sitting around, heard the Red Sox were in on Byrd, and did nothing.
    Also, in terms of Cashman not putting a claim in on Byrd, it probably has as much to do with the 40-man roster and not having enough space or wanting to DFA a player as it has to do with anything else.

    yankees76 August 12, 2008, 5:01 pm
  • Maybe Cashman just guessed wrong, because he certainly held the option before Theo did.
    Is it possible for teams to put a bid in after they have neglected to do so? I mean, if MLB came to Cashman and he said no, can he later then say yes when he finds out that Boston is going to claim him? Is it a pure guesssing game as to if one GM thinks that another GM is going to put in a claim or not?

    Brad August 12, 2008, 5:06 pm
  • John YF, it’s not as straightforward as that. Remember how the Yankees inadvertently wound up with Canseco trying to pull a similar move to block the Red Sox. With Giles, you knew the Padres would pull him back off waivers if they were unable to get some value for him, because he is signed past this season to a (arguably) below-market contract. With Byrd, who is not signed past this season, simply for salary relief the Tribe could just say, “fine, take him,” and not require the Yankees to give up anything in return (other than taking on the remainder of Byrd’s salary). In those circumstances, the Yankees would own him. They can’t *revoke* their waiver claim.

    yankees76 August 12, 2008, 5:07 pm
  • Waiver claims are NOT 1st come 1st serve, they are based on record. So if Cashman put in a claim after Theo, but still before the deadline he would have won the claim. Just as the Sox did with Giles. This information gets around, so I am certain Cash new of the move.
    As for not wanting to make a move, additions, subtractions to 40 man roster: All they had to do was put in the claim. By simply putting in the claim they block the deal to the Red Sox. Then Cashman low balls the Indians and they don’t work out a deal. Just like the Giles deal. It’s just odd that Cashman would not block this even if the Sox got just slightly better as I said earlier.

    John - YF August 12, 2008, 5:07 pm
  • 76, didn’t see you there, and that kind of answers it, but not fully.
    I need to look it up.

    Brad August 12, 2008, 5:07 pm
  • Right on, john.

    Brad August 12, 2008, 5:09 pm
  • Then this was stupid for Cashman to not do just that.
    It would have been TOTALLY understandable to everyone who knows anything about baseball, but I wonder if there is a penalty involved with not making a honest attempt at not actually getting a deal done? Does the commisioner step in and interfere in the process if he suspects that it’s nothing more than a block of Boston?

    Brad August 12, 2008, 5:10 pm
  • The team that waives the player has to agree to the terms of the trade. So you are telling me that if Cashman claimed Byrd and he went to the Indians and said I will give you ________ but we are not paying any of his salary, not a cent, that the Indians would say sure. Cashman is shrewd, there are ways around this.
    As for the 40 man roster thing, here are some names that won’t help the Yankees any time soon. Worse case scenario and the Indians agreed to an awful deal, let’s cut ties with any of the following players:
    Shelley Duncan
    Billy Traber
    Scott Patterson

    John - YF August 12, 2008, 5:12 pm
  • I can’t say whether or not the Indians would have required compensation from the Yankees, but to be clear, the Indians could have just let him go, like the Rays let Jose Canseco come to the Yankees in 2000, without requiring compensation in return. The Indians could have just taken the salary relief. In which case, the Yankees would have had Byrd on the team and needed to clear 25- and 40-man roster spots for him.

    yankees76 August 12, 2008, 5:18 pm
  • I don’t think there is or can be a penalty other than burning bridges. A team puts a player on waivers to try a rid themselves of salary or to try and free up space on their rosters, the commissioner has to know this. Look at what the D’Backs got for Dunn, if anyone is going to draw the ire of the commish.

    John - YF August 12, 2008, 5:18 pm
  • The only point that I was making is that there doesn’t have to be a trade, there doesn’t have to be any negotiations, there may not be an opportunity for Cash to low-ball the Indians.
    The current team has three options when a player they have placed on waivers is claimed: (i) negotiate a trade with the claiming team within 48 hours, (ii) pull the player back off waivers or (iii) simply let the player go.
    The claiming team does not have a right to revoke it’s waiver claim, and if the current team simply chooses option (iii), then the claiming team owns him. Period.

    yankees76 August 12, 2008, 5:22 pm
  • I can’t stand Paul Byrd, but if he can just be average I think it’s a good move for the Sox (as long as we don’t give up a lot). What worries me is how injured Wakefield is; it must be worse than we think if they’re willing to grab Byrd. I wanted to see Wakey in the playoffs this year.

    Atheose August 12, 2008, 5:25 pm
  • I believe these players are usually put on what’s called irrevocable waivers at this point in the season meaning that the claiming team doesnt have the option of withdrawing their claim. The team that put the player on the waivers can withdraw the player if they arent happy about what they will be getting in return. Clearly this wasnt an issue here since Byrd was traded for PTBNL or cash considerations. Im sure Cashman had a reason not to put a claim in here, though its not clear what it is. They also didnt win the bidding on Freddy Garcia which they surely would have been able to do if they felt he would help…

    Sam-YF August 12, 2008, 5:26 pm
  • Sam, from all accounts Garcia isn’t ready and hasn’t been too impressive. I was all over the sign Freddy Garcia bandwagon back a few months, but after even Ozzie Guillen pointed out his not being ready I jumped right off.
    Yeah, there must be a reason. Hopefully it’s door #2 and that’s another trick up his sleeve.

    John - YF August 12, 2008, 5:30 pm
  • Sam, just to clarify, we don’t know whether or not the Yankees put in a claim on Garcia, because it’s not publicized. All we know is that the Tigers put in a claim on him and (i) no NL team put in a waiver claim (because they would have preference over the Tigers) and (ii) no AL team with a worse record than the Tigers put in a waiver claim.
    The Yankees very well may have put in a waiver claim on him, but the Tigers’ claim would take preference.

    yankees76 August 12, 2008, 5:33 pm
  • Cash didn’t do this because he knows we are finished and he’s just riding out this season. Why trade a box of balls for Byrd? We already have two over-the-hill pitchers in the rotation. That being said…the Sox still have a lot to play for and you can never have enough pitchers. He’ll probably come in and do well. As far as the Yankees…don’t get me started.

    krueg August 12, 2008, 5:34 pm
  • “Then the claiming team owns him. Period.”
    Then so be it. There are certainly worse things, like Rasner getting another chance.
    Listen, there must be a reason for not doing this. Maybe it’s another player or maybe it’s a bad report on Byrd.

    John - YF August 12, 2008, 5:34 pm
  • Wasn’t Freddy Garcia a FA?
    Krueg, I think you may be right my friend. Only two options really: White Flag or Other Option.

    John - YF August 12, 2008, 5:36 pm
  • The RedSox.com email I just received informing me of the trade contains the following link at the bottom: “Get a Byrd jersey >>”
    Am I to understand, Rod and SF, that you will not be acquiring this hot, new, in-demand item?

    Paul SF August 12, 2008, 5:37 pm
  • It’s over Johnny boy…it’s over.
    C.C. in 2009!!! (i need to get a tee-shirt printed up)

    krueg August 12, 2008, 5:54 pm
  • Am I to understand, Rod and SF, that you will not be acquiring this hot, new, in-demand item?
    I swore off Sox jerseys after buying that stupid Lugo shirt.

    SF August 12, 2008, 5:59 pm
  • Cash didn’t do this because he knows we are finished and he’s just riding out this season.
    Seems like one of two plausible explanations. The other being that the money spent on Byrd wouldn’t be worth the performance uptick over whoever they would pay to fill his spot, if in fact the Yankees felt like they’d even get that uptick. If Hughes is indeed ready to re-join the rotation, they may figure the differential is nil, so why spend the money. No need to attack Cashman on this one, passing on Paul Byrd when you are 5 back of the WC and 10 back of the division with only 43 to play is completely defensible, in my book. Would we SFs have assailed Theo if he had passed and Byrd had gone to the Rays/Twins/etc.? I wouldn’t have based on what I think of Byrd and how I prefer not to root for him, and our team is, for the moment, in the thick of it, not decimated by big-name injuries and apparently fading. I think Cashman deserves some leeway here.

    SF August 12, 2008, 6:04 pm
  • i’ll trade you my custom embroidered john halama jersey for your lugo t-shirt.

    sf rod August 12, 2008, 6:53 pm
  • I like this pickup for us. Byrd can help us. He’s been solid since he joined Cleveland, not spectacular, but solid. He doesn’t have to be a postseason starter. And right now he’s a better option than Bucky. That No. 5 slot must get solidified. It’s killing us, and it’s why we didn’t take 3 of 4 from the Hawk Sox. We can’t wait for Colon to get better. Byrd was available now.
    As far as the HGH goes, Byrd’s explanation was a plausible as any I’ve heard. There certainly were those that raised red flags, and any HGH user should raise red flags, but he owned up to it when asked.
    I’m happy to have him. Except for Game 7 last year, he’s done well against us.

    I'mBillMcNeal August 12, 2008, 7:10 pm
  • Besides, at least it’s not Mark Fydrich.

    I'mBillMcNeal August 12, 2008, 7:11 pm
  • I’m with you, IBM. Not sure why everyone has been dumping on this move. What sort of pitcher does one expect to get in mid-August? Byrd is filling in for the bottom of the rotation, which is what he has been all season (until the CC trade anyway), he’s been pretty decent lately, and he cost at most a low-level minor leaguer, and most likely some cash. What’s the big whoop?

    FenSheaParkway August 12, 2008, 7:19 pm
  • For the Yanks, I look at Byrd a few ways:
    – If they’re waving the white flag then they’re trying to evaluate for talent next year – like Hughes and Kennedy and thus no room for a crappy junkballer like Byrd.
    – Since Ponson hasn’t been half bad, and both Joba and Hughes will be back in the next week or two, Byrd offered no real upgrade.
    As for the Sox, Byrd is an upgrade over what Buchholz has been giving. Still, it makes the Masterson to the pen move that much more curious. It’s much easier to find a decent bullpen arm, pitching a few innings each week, than it is to find a rotation arm at how well he was pitching there. There’s no need to acquire Byrd if they get a bullpen arm before the deadline.

    Ben (YF) August 12, 2008, 7:38 pm

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