NEW YORK – A day after collecting four hits in the Phillies’ 7-1 loss to the New York Mets, Marlon Byrd was not in the starting lineup for the second game of the series Tuesday night.
Byrd is a prime trade chip, so his absence from the lineup 48 hours before Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline set off warning lights.
Manager Ryne Sandberg said nothing was up.
“No, not at all,” he said.
Sandberg said he had been looking to get Byrd a day off after starting 26 games in a row and this one made sense because Byrd had recently taken a couple of foul balls off his left foot and was hobbling a little.
Byrd said he was told on Monday that he would get a break Tuesday.
Byrd admitted to taking balls off the foot on Friday and Sunday, but said he was fine and expects to play Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s nothing,” he said.
Byrd has drawn serious looks from the Seattle Mariners, who are looking for a right-handed bat. Byrd is signed for $8 million next season and has an $8 million option for 2016 that would have to be picked up for him to OK a deal to the Mariners, who are one of the teams on his four-team no-trade clause.
Grady Sizemore started in right field for the Phillies in place of Byrd.
A group of Phillies executives and scouts convened in Clearwater to watch Cuban free-agent outfielder Rusney Castillo in a private workout on Tuesday morning. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was in attendance.
The Phillies are looking to make quick upgrades in their outfield and are expected to be players for Castillo.
Amaro was not available for comment.
Castillo, who defected late last year, drew 100 scouts and executives to a showcase Saturday in Miami. He has more private workouts planned with other clubs in the coming days.