Jayson Stark: Paul Byrd?

Jayson Stark guesses the Pirates might pursue a player like Paul Byrd this offseason, given Neal Huntington's and Byrd's background with the Cleveland Indians.

That's a pretty good guess; the Pirates want a veteran starter, and Byrd could be the right sort of starter for the front office's needs: not expensive, eats innings, but also not egregiously horrible. Unfortunately, Byrd's not very likely to succeed in Pittsburgh; he relies very strongly on his defense, and the Pirates don't have one. Byrd registered only 82 strikeouts last year, which won't get it done, especially since (unlike Zach Duke, who posted similar K:9 numbers) Byrd doesn't generate a ton of ground balls. Byrd will also be 38 in December.

He might, however, manage the interesting feat of allowing more homers than walks. Carlos Silva did it in 2005 and 2006 and Greg Maddux did it in 2004; those are the most recent examples I can find.

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