Marlon Byrd's 2016 season was going well before a 162-game suspension was handed down on June 1 for a positive PED test. If he opts to return to baseball, some team may be willing to take a chance on his continued production. The 39-year-old outfielder had topped 20 home runs in three consecutive seasons prior to 2016, and was seemingly on his way to number four, as he was batting .270 with five home runs and 19 RBI through 34 games. He has always had issues with strikeouts, increasingly so in recent years, and that was no different in 2016, as he struck out at a 29.5 percent rate. When Byrd hits the ball, however, he hits it hard. His .361 batting average on balls in play was very strong, and he also added solid numbers with a .452 slugging percentage, .778 OPS and .182 isolated power. He could be worth a minor league contract to a team hoping to add a veteran bat off the bench and willing to wait two months.
Byrd (suspension) did not receive a qualifying offer from the Indians and is now a free agent, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports. Considering Byrd will not be eligible to return from a 162-game PED suspension until two months into the 2017 season, he is pretty unappealing as a free agent. If he wants to continue to play professional baseball, he may be forced to accept a minor league contract.
Byrd has been suspended 162 games for PED use, Ken Rosehtal of FOXSports.com reports. Byrd was having a solid season offensively hitting .270 with five home runs and 19 RBI through 34 games prior to the suspension. However, the 38-year-old will now serve a 162 game suspension after testing positive for PEDs. With Byrd turning 39 in August, it is unknown whether he will try to return to baseball next season or call it a career, but more information regarding his future should be released shortly.
Byrd has been suspended for 162 games, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports. Byrd was having a solid year at the plate prior to being suspended, hitting .270/.326/.452 with five home runs and 19 RBI through 34 games. His suspension is likely due to repeated PED use, but no official word has been released so it can't be confirmed at this time. With Byrd sitting at the age of 38, it is unknown whether he will serve his suspension and try to return to baseball, or call it a career. More information should be released regarding the situation in the near future.
Byrd went 3-for-5 with a homerun, two RBI and three runs scored in Cleveland's 15-6 victory against the Reds. The outfielder's playing time has diminished this month, but with Michael Brantley back on the disabled list Byrd could be in line for a string of starts in the coming weeks. Byrd has three home runs and 14 RBI for the season to go along with his .253 batting average.
Byrd is out of the lineup Sunday against the Twins, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports. Byrd had started the previous three games in the corner outfield, but went just 2-for-14 with six strikeouts during that time. Though Michael Brantley (shoulder) went back on the DL and Lonnie Chisenhall (personal) remains on the bereavement list, manager Terry Francona will turn to Jose Ramirez and Michael Martinez in the corner spots Sunday as a means of getting more lefty bats into the lineup against right-hander Tyler Duffey.