A new year, a fresh start! That's what the Phillies want to give Marlon Byrd, reportedly, in the Queen City.
Just days ago, we were being told that this very Marlon Byrd-to-the-Reds trade had fallen apart, killing a deal that we hadn't even known existed. Now, though, according to Ken Rosenthal:
Sources: #Phillies and #Reds have a deal involving Marlon Byrd. RHP Ben Lively one of players headed to PHI. Announcement coming today.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 31, 2014
Byrd owed $8M in 2015 and has $8M vesting option for ‘16. #Phillies expected to send significant cash to #Reds in trade.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 31, 2014
Why all these players have such an intense interest in vests, I have no idea. But it's not my job to know.
In exchange for 37-year-old Byrd, who was one of the Phillies top offensive players in 2014 (.264/.312/.445, team leading 25 HR), the Phillies will receive at least Ben Lively (potentially among others), a 22-year-old, right-handed sneaker and college football meme enthusiast. He threw 151 innings in 2014, with 76 SO, 36 BB, a 2.58 ERA and 9.5 SO/9 for the Reds' High A and Double A farm teams in Bakersfield and Pensacola (where he pitched in a rather stacked staff).
Originally a 26th round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians in 2010, Lively spurned the big leagues for an education at the University of Central Florida (his native state). There, he developed a curriculum of terror among opposing hitters, going 21-8 with a 3.06 ERA and 226 hard K's during the 244 innings of his college career.
In his next go-around with the MLB Draft, he was bumped up 22 rounds to the fourth, where the Reds nabbed him in 2013. This past June, he was referred to as "a bit boring," with his low-90s heater, change-up, curveball, and slider all in mediocre-at-best range. He projects as a back-of-the-rotation fella.
Currently, he has big plans for the holiday season.
On another note... Who's ready for a Christmas tree bonfire?!— Ben Lively (@BenLively19) December 25, 2014