Mets Stockpiling AARP Eligibles; Sign Marlon Byrd

 Marlon Byrd, coming off a 50-game suspension following his June 2012 release from the Boston Red Sox has agreed to a minor league contract with The New York Mets. This marks the Mets third free-agent acquisition of the week.  Byrd, at age 35, is the youngster in the crowd.

The Mets outfield projects as one of the weakest in the Major Leagues.  Each position could stand an upgrade, or at least a name of a player who will be there.  This is in the same division where Atlanta's off-season dealing now lets them boast a trio that may arguably prove to be the big leagues best, with both Upton brothers and Jason Heyward.  Byrd, who has played centerfield primarily, will have to win a spot on the Mets roster.  With his prior defensive experience, one must think that all three positions would be possibilities should Byrd catch on with New York.

Byrd was traded by the Chicago Cubs to Boston in April of 2012, and totaled only 153 at-bats with a .210 BA before the Red Sox let him go on June 12.  Two weeks later, MLB announced he tested positive for Tamoxifen, which can reduce side effects of steroid use and increase testosterone.  An All-Star as recently as 2010 as a member of the Cubs, Byrd has appeared with five organizations.  His best-prolonged success came with the Texas Rangers 2007-09.

Earlier in the week, the Mets announced the signing of two relief pitchers, Scott Atchison, 36 and a five-year veteran, and 40-year old LaTroy Hawkins, an 18-year vet with nearly 900 appearances made.  All these moves are obviously being made to for the short term, as the Wilpon-owned Mets continue to be unable to commit money to quality ballplayers beyond team icon David Wright.

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