Byrd says he's ready to pitch

Tim Brown
Yahoo! Sports

Free-agent pitcher Paul Byrd is "game-ready" for two to three innings and would need two weeks in the minor leagues to be fit to start games, he wrote in an email.

"I am ready to make a move," wrote Byrd, who won eight games in the second half last season but chose to sit out winter free agency and spring training to extend his offseason with his wife and two boys.

He added that he's been training for three months and throwing for two, to a high-school catcher and two former college players, who, Byrd wrote wryly, "say I'm nasty." Byrd, 38, also has been coaching his sons' teams.

Byrd's agent, Bo McKinnis, has been in contact with a handful of teams.

"Right now," Byrd wrote, "I'm good for 30 to 40 pitches at full strength. Physically, I am in great shape, although I do have a few more gray hairs in my beard. I will be the pitcher in the second half last year who didn't tip pitches and got the job done. I will just be arriving a little late for the season, which come playoff time might be a good thing."

At about the MLB All-Star break while pitching for the Indians last season, Byrd received a note from a former teammate telling him he was tipping. He was 8-2 with a 3.46 ERA in the second half, including four wins in eight starts after being traded to the Red Sox.

The market would appear to be wide open for Byrd – even with Pedro Martinez and Mark Mulder also on the late-comers schedule – as most teams are short starting pitching … or getting there.

Byrd, a middle to back-end starter, would prefer to pitch for a contender. The Angels, often mentioned (and a favorite of Byrd's), are for the moment content to cover for John Lackey and Ervin Santana from within the organization.

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