Tony Sanchez expresses his sadness over Marlon Byrd’s departure from Pittsburgh

There’s no doubt Marlon Byrd made a big impression during his short stay with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013. After being acquired from the New York Mets along with catcher John Buck on Aug, 27, Byrd hit .318 with three home runs and 17 RBIs over 30 games. He was also a big performer in their postseason return, hitting .364 with three extra-base hits and five RBIs in six games.

Simply put, in a six-week span, Byrd became the word and the man in the Steel City, quickly winning over a fanbase that was craving postseason success after a 21-year drought. And it appears the same can be said for his now former teammates, in particular backup catcher Tony Sanchez, as they said goodbye to Byrd on Tuesday.

Cheer up, Tony. He's not flying too far away.

Byrd, of course, signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the rebuilding Philadelphia Phillies. It's a somewhat odd landing spot considering where Byrd just came from (the postseason with Pittsburgh) and where the Phillies are going in the short-term, but it's always tough to say no to a $7.3 million raise.

It's good news for Byrd, and it's good news for Sanchez and company, as they'll get to see their old buddy at least a couple times during the 2014 season.

And beyond that, Sanchez still has a friend in NL Manager of the Year Clint Hurdle.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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