Even though Mets fan were probably hoping Jose Reyes would be the player extended, they should also be glad Tim Byrdak will be back in the saddle. Byrdak was one of Sandy Alderson’s many savvy signings from this past off-season, so his success against left-handed hitters only illustrates how Alderson knows how to pull treasure from a trash pile.
Byrdak, a 37 year-old reliever, posted an overall 2.89 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and 2.56 K/BB in 37.3 innings. As good as combined stats are, the southpaw’s dominance against his own kind is particularly impressive. Byrdak has owned a .208/.260/.323 line against lefties with a 5.83 K/BB. Needless to say, Byrdak has been fantastic in the lefty specialist role.
Alderson originally signed Byrdak to a minor league deal, worth $900,000 if he made the Major League roster (which he did), and another $300,000 in performance bonuses (which he’s achieved). So in total, the lefty reliever will have earned $1.2 million this season. According to sources, that figure should be around what the Mets will pay Byrdak in his next contract for 2012. Given Byrdak’s production in 2011 (0.4 WAR or $1.9 million), securing his services again is a no-brainer and a blessing.