By now, you’ve probably heard them all.
But you cannot deny the vast upgrade Byrd offers defensively. That alone should win the Phillies some games, and the proof is in the pudding.
Last season, the Phils were as stable in right field with the glove as a baby giraffe taking its first steps. OK, not that unstable, but legitimately poor.
Phillies rightfielders were worth negative-19 runs saved in 2013, 28th in baseball ahead of only the Rockies and Astros. Byrd was worth positive-12 runs saved, good for sixth best among MLB rightfielders. The 36-year-old also racked up 10 assists, third most at his position behind only Gerardo Parra (15) and Jay Bruce (13), two of the elite outfield arms in the business.
To demonstrate the value of defense, consider this: Among the majors last season, the Phillies ranked second-to-last in UZR (minus-42.2). Five of the bottom six teams in UZR -- Rockies, Astros, Twins, Phillies, Mariners -- finished a combined 335-475 (.414 winning percentage).
The other team was the Cardinals, who made up for subpar range by making the routine plays and producing off-the-chart numbers at the plate.
Winning teams typically are clean in the field, cover ground and limit extra outs.
Defense does in fact win games.
So yes, Byrd comes with many risks. But defensively, he shores up a glaring weakness.