Phillies send Byrd to D.C. for Chavez
GM said club plans to keep speedy outfielder in big leagues
PHILADELPHIA -- Marlon Byrd questioned his future with the Phillies late in Spring Training, and the organization gave him an answer on Saturday.Philadelphia shipped Byrd to the Washington Nationals for Endy Chavez in a classic change-of-scenery trade for both players. "Sometimes you get to a point where a player has to go somewhere and reestablish himself," said Phillies general manager Ed Wade. "I hope it works out for Byrd and for us." Nationals GM Jim Bowden contacted Wade at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, and the particulars were quickly worked out. By 7:30 p.m., the deal was completed. Byrd had taken batting practice with the team and will be joining Washington's Major League team. "I hope it's good for Marlon, and I hope he gets to play," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. "I wish him a lot of luck." The 27-year-old Byrd was hitting .308 (4-for-13) since his recall from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 5. He began the season on the 15-day disabled dist with a fractured right ring finger. Chavez, 27, didn't make the Nationals out of Spring Training, but was recalled May 4 when Terrmel Sledge was placed on the disabled list. After batting .344 in 14 games with Triple-A New Orleans, Chavez hit .222 in seven games and was sent back down. The Phillies hope Chavez will arrive in time for Sunday's game. He took a red-eye from Fresno, Calif., and was expected to arrive at 6 a.m. on Sunday. He is expected to stay in the big leagues. Like Byrd, the hope is that the change of scenery will do him good. "I don't think either player was going to go forward in the organizations they were in," said Nationals GM Jim Bowden. "Both have to make adjustments if they are ever going to survive. Hopefully, Endy will do that in Philadelphia." Chavez brings another left-handed bat off the bench for manager Charlie Manuel and is a true basestealing option. Wade said he is a good defensive outfielder with a good arm. "This gives us more combinations once Kenny Lofton comes off the disabled list," said Wade. "[Chavez] is still in the relatively early stages of his Major League career, and we think he's a good fit for us. We get an outfielder with exceptional speed. He stole 32 bases last year with Montreal. He's a guy that didn't strike out a lot. He can play all three positions." Philadelphia will have a roster decision to make on Tuesday, when Lofton is expected to be activated from the disabled list. If Chavez remains and the Phillies stick with 12 pitchers, Ryan Howard could be returned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. "We'll have some productive discussions in the next two days," said Wade.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.