The San Francisco Giants acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd and cash Thursday from the Cincinnati Reds to boost their injury-plagued outfield for the stretch run.
A day after losing out on second baseman Chase Utley, whom the Philadelphia Phillies traded to the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, the defending World Series champions made their own move to replenish an outfield that has dealt with injuries to all three starters.
San Francisco trailed the Dodgers by two games at the start of the day.
Center fielder Angel Pagan is on the 15-day disabled list with an injured right knee. Left fielder Nori Aoki came off the seven-day concussion list Thursday ahead of the series opener at Pittsburgh but right fielder Hunter Pence went on the DL with a strained left oblique.
“I’m excited,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “Marlon is a real pro who knows how to play the game and, most importantly, gives us a much-needed bat. He’s going to be a good addition for us. I talked to him and he’s very excited to be coming here.”
The 37-year-old Byrd hit .237 with 19 home runs and 42 RBIs in 96 games with the Reds. The Giants become his seventh team since 2012.
Byrd wasn’t available for comment before the trade was announced in Cincinnati. Byrd is scheduled to join the Giants on Friday in Pittsburgh.
Pence has been limited to 52 games after beginning the season on the disabled list with a broken left arm, which prevented him joining the lineup until May 16. He is hitting .275 with nine homers.
The Giants discussed a deal for Byrd last month before the non-waiver trading deadline, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. The talks resumed the past three days with San Francisco dealing with so many injuries.
Giants general manager Bobby Evans said the team had been looking at a number of outfield options help and the injury to Pence “sped up the process.”
Evans said the Giants would prefer to keep Aoki in left field and play Byrd in right field. The GM said “we’ll see how it plays out” as far as if Byrd would be able to cover the spacious right field at AT&T Park.
“This was another opportunity to give one of our veteran players a chance to go to a contending club and help them get to the postseason,” Jocketty said. “(Giants) have had a lot of injuries in the outfield. … So he’ll get plenty of playing time there, and as we transition to playing more younger players.”
The Giants sent minor league reliever Stephen Johnson to the Reds. The 24-year-old right-hander was 3-0 with a 3.41 ERA in 44 games with Double-A Richmond.
The Reds acquired Byrd from the Phillies last Dec. 31 to fill a void in left field, but now the team is out of contention and Byrd is a pricey piece. He is earning $8 million this year and has an $8 million club option for 2016 that becomes guaranteed if he has 509 at-bats this year. He currently has 359 at-bats. He missed time with a broken left wrist after being hit by a pitch.
The Reds got cash from the Phillies to cover part of Byrd’s salary last December. They sent some of the money to the Giants as part of the deal.