Share This Page

Late-season additions receptive to returning to Pirates next year

| Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, 10:33 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates outfielder Marlon Byrd flashes the Zoltan sign to the dugout after hitting a double during the sixth inning against the Cardinals on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, in Game 3 of the National League Division Series at PNC Park.

Marlon Byrd played 12 seasons in the major leagues before getting his first taste of the postseason, and in the aftermath of the Pirates' Game 5 loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday, the outfielder said it had been a great ride.

“Not the end that we wanted, of course, but I enjoyed it,” Byrd said. “Been to the playoffs, helping this team win, the fans, this whole organization — they should be very proud.”

Byrd and first baseman Justin Morneau were late-season acquisitions picked up to help the Pirates down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Both are free agents in 2014, and both said Wednesday night they're open to the possibility of rejoining the Pirates next season.

“There's always interest, of course,” said Morneau, who spent 11 seasons with the Twins.

“The opportunity to win is all you can ask for in this game. They gave me that, and I could see this team being good for a long time. There's a lot of things you look at and say, ‘I'd like to be a part of that.' There's no reason to say that can't happen.”

Said Byrd, who has also expressed interest in returning to the Mets, “I enjoyed it. I had a blast. Great front office, great staff, great fans, great group of guys. I would love to be a part of this moving forward because it's something special.”

Byrd batted .364 in six playoff games, the highest average on the team in the postseason, and was 6 for 18 in the National League Division Series. Byrd's postseason numbers included two doubles, one home run, four runs, five RBI and six strikeouts.

He hit .318 (34 for 107) in 30 regular-season games with the Pirates with nine doubles, three home runs and 17 RBI.

Morneau was just behind Byrd with a .300 average (6 for 20) in the NLDS, and he hit .292 overall in the postseason with one double and no RBI.

In 25 regular-season games with the Pirates, he hit .260 (20 for 77) with four doubles, no homers and three RBI. He walked 13 times and struck out 12.

The pair combined for three hits, four runs and one RBI in the Pirates' 7-1 Game 2 win and three hits, two runs and two RBI in their 5-3 win in Game 3 against the Cardinals.

Byrd, 36, made $700,000 this season after pulling in $6.5 million with the Cubs in 2012.

He was traded to the Red Sox late last season.

Morneau, 32, made $14 million in salary this season, of which the Pirates were responsible for approximately $2 million.

He had to OK the trade to the Pirates on Aug. 31.

“The people in here have a lot to be proud of,” Morneau said Wednesday. “This is a good organization, a lot of young talent and young pitching, which you need to sustain that success. There's no reason why this team can't do this next year and build on this and be even better coming back.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.