Mets outfieder Marlon Byrd has been claimed off trade waivers by a National League team, according to CBS.
The Cardinals were rumored to be interested in Byrd at the trade deadline because Jon Jay was struggling at the time. But since then Jay has been red-hot with a .348 batting average, two homers and 19 runs batted in over the last month.
Could it be that the Pirates, who are suddenly ahead of the Cardinals on the waiver wire pecking order because St. Louis has passed Pittsburgh in the standings, are the claiming team?
The Pirates could certainly use an injection of both offense and experience.
Byrd is hitting .285 this season with a career best 21 homers. But last year he got off to a terrible start, hitting .070 with the Cubs before being traded to the Red Sox. He hit .270 in Boston. But that was only good enough to raise his average to .210.
Rumors persist about the Redbirds being interested in former St. Louis pitcher Dan Haren. At 8-11 with a 4.66 ERA, Haren's numbers don't seem to be that inspiring. But a glance beyond the surface indicates that he's 3-0 with a 2.12 over the last month while holding opposing hitters to a .203 batting average.
While Haren has given up 25 homers this year, he seems to have stuff capable of getting hitters out. He's struck out 155 while walking 29. But a deal seems unlikely because reports out of Washington indicate the Nationals want a mint for the 32-year-old righty who can be a free agent at the end of the year.
Before the All-Star Game it seemed unlikely that the Nationals could command much for Haren. But he got hot at the right time to increase his trade value and, with few other options available on the trade market, Washington can hold out.
St. Louis GM John Mozeliak has made the bold moves before, trading top prospect Brett Wallace to Oakland to land then rental Matt Holliday for a playoff push. But Haren is a guy who is past his prime who the Cardinals might not even WANT to sign beyond 2013. So the stakes are different and so is the price that the Cardinals are likely going to be willing to pay.