04/23/09 1:43 PM ET
Byrd ready to return to big leagues
Veteran pitcher has been throwing for three months
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
At least that's what he told Yahoo! Sports recently.
Byrd, who made 30 starts for the Indians and Red Sox last season but chose to sit out free agency and Spring Training to spend more time with his wife and two sons, said in an e-mail to Yahoo! Sports that he is "game-ready" for two to three innings and would need just two weeks in the Minor Leagues to be ready to start in the Major Leagues again.
"I am ready to make a move," Byrd wrote in the e-mail.
"Right now, I'm good for 30 to 40 pitches at full strength," he added. "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."
The 38-year-old right-hander told the publication he's been training for three months, and throwing for the last two to a high-school catcher and two former college players.
Yahoo! Sports said Byrd's agent, Bo McKinnis, has been in contact with a handful of teams and that his client would prefer to pitch for a contender, with the Angels likely topping his list. For the moment, however, Los Angeles seems like it would prefer to cover the injuries to starters John Lackey and Ervin Santana from within the organization.
Byrd, 108-93 with a 4.38 ERA through 13 seasons in the Major Leagues, started off last season with the Indians before being acquired mid-August by the Red Sox.
Byrd posted a 5.47 ERA in 18 starts before the All-Star break last season, but got a note from an ex-teammate at around that time that he was tipping his pitches. After heeding the advice and making the proper adjustments, the Kentucky native finished the year 8-2 with a 3.46 ERA.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.