According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Byrd cleared waivers, which enabled the Giants to step in and make an offer. The asking price was not high for Byrd as he is 37 years old and his two-year, $16 million contract expires at the end of the season. John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle also reported that Byrd is owed just over $2 million this season, and San Francisco will pay $500,000 of it.
The former All-Star is slashing .237/.286/.448 with 19 home runs and 42 RBIs this season. Keep in mind, though, that his home ballpark in Cincinnati is much more hitter-friendly than his new one at AT&T Park. Byrd is described as a free swinger who does not like to take pitches, and he will give the Giants the right-handed power bat off the bench they were needing.
The trade comes just hours after Nori Aoki was activated from the seven-day concussion DL to replace Hunter Pence, who landed on the DL with a left oblique strain. Starting center fielder Angel Pagan has been on the shelf since August 11 with patella tendinitis.
Essentially, Byrd will be a rental player for the last six weeks of the season. San Francisco is currently two games back of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, and they are approaching a crucial three game series at Chavez Ravine starting August 31.
Cincinnati will receive Stephen Johnson, a right-hander who has been down in Double-A all year. Scouts describe Johnson as having a live arm who will tally the strikeouts, but has control issues. Johnson has spent almost all of his career in the bullpen. This year, he is 3-0 with a 3.41 ERA, and has tallied 68 strikeouts in 58 innings pitched.