Sox complete trade for Paul Byrd
August 13, 2008 2 Comments
A Byrd in the hand… It’s hard to believe that the Sox, who began the season with an embarrassing excess of starting pitching, now have to trade for rotational depth, but here it is. The Sox acquired 37-year old starter Paul Byrd from the Indians for a PTBNL or cash yesterday. The player will be of minimal value, according to Indians GM Mark Shapiro. Byrd will likely take over the 5th slot in the rotation, allowing young Clay Buchholz to go back to Pawtucket (again) and sort out his recent struggles.
Byrd seemed pleased to join the Sox from an Indians team that fell out of contention early this year due to a rash of injuries. He pitched a solid five innings against the Sox in the last ALCS, earning a win by allowing just two runs on six hits on October 16, 2007. There is about $2M left on Byrd’s $7.5M contract this year, after which he becomes a free agent.
I do like this move by Theo; with Bartolo Colon nowhere near ready, you either have to take your chances with a Charlie Zink-type or get a vet. Byrd is a noted strike-thrower and can get shelled at times with his mid-80s fastball, but he is steady veteran who will definitely outperform Buchholz’ 6.32 ERA and give them the innings they need from their front five. He has been hot since the All-Star break, going 4-0 with a 1.24 ERA over that time. Byrd attributes that improvement to recently learning that he may have been tipping pitches with his old glove. He is known as a good Christian and character guy, but Byrd has been accused of illegally using HGH in the past; he says he was prescribed the stuff for a thyroid disorder.