The Astros named Brett Myers their closer, manager Brad Mills told reporters this morning. According to Alyson Footer, GM Jeff Luhnow brought the idea to Mills, who liked it and approached Myers. Myers' $10MM vesting option for 2013 was reworked to reflect the role change, tweets Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.
Luhnow traded incumbent closer Mark Melancon to the Red Sox in December, and Myers makes for a viable replacement. Myers spent time in the role with the '07 Phillies, but he told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart, "I wouldn't accept it if I didn't think I could do it, but it's going to be a challenge for me because it's something different. It's like a position change for me. It's like taking a first baseman and moving him to third. I'm going to have to work a little harder to get my arm in shape to throw 20 or 25 pitches a night. Hopefully, it will be good for the team and good for the organization."
Luhnow explained the move, saying, "We feel like we’re in pretty good shape [in the rotation] and have some choices. We felt like were a little exposed in the bullpen, and having a guy who’s been successful in that role and who’s got the mentality and stuff to do well takes pressure of Brandon Lyon coming off an injury and doesn’t put pressure on young kids like David Carpenter and Wilton Lopez." I feel that while the Astros have a number of options for their last two rotation spots, this move still weakens the team overall.
The decision probably isn't all that great for Myers' trade value, as he'd been able to toss 439 2/3 innings over the past two seasons. He's owed $11MM this year, and if the '13 option doesn't vest it will come with a $3MM buyout.
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