The Phillies trade Marlon Byrd to the Reds for pitcher Ben Lively

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Ken Rosenthal reports that Marlon Byrd has been traded by the Phillies to the Cincinnati Reds. Rosenthal says that pitcher Ben Lively one of players headed to Philadelphia.

As we noted the other day, these two teams had a Byrd trade in place that “fell apart” recently, but now it’s obviously back together. Part of it may be because Philly is going to send Cincy some cash in the deal.

Byrd is owed $8 million in the final year of his contract and is coming off a season in which he hit .264 with 25 homers and a .757 OPS in 154 games. His plate discipline and defense has degraded tremendously, however.

Lively turns 23 in March. He was a fourth round pick of the Reds in 2013 out of the University of Central Florida. He’s 13-11 with a 2.58 ERA in 39 starts across two minor league seasons. He’s not a top prospect — he walks a tad too many batters — but he does have the potential to be a mid-level big league starter.

The big question here is what the heck the Reds’ plan is. Why pick up an end-of-career bat with some power potential like Byrd after dealing Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon? If you’re gonna make a run, why not do it with those two pitchers? If you’re not, why acquire Byrd?