Brett Myers Rumors
The White Sox sent minor league right-hander Chris Devenski to the Astros to complete the trade that sent Brett Myers to Chicago, Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports (on Twitter). The White Sox sent right-hander Matthew Heidenreich and left-hander Blair Walters to Houston for Myers on July 21st.
Devenski, 21, was selected in the 25th round of last year's draft. He has spent the 2012 season at Class A Kannapolis, where he has a 4.23 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 61 2/3 innings.
The White Sox have acquired Brett Myers from the Astros, a source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Houston announced that they will receive right-hander Matt Heidenreich, left-hander Blair Walters, and a player to be named later for the pitcher. The Astros will also send cash to Chicago, according to the White Sox.
The White Sox are on the hook for just $1MM of the $4.45MM still owed to Myers this year, according to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com (via Twitter). Chicago also received money to go towards Myers' salary or possible buyout for next sesaon.
Myers, 31, has a $10MM option for 2013 that will vest if he finishes 45 games and doesn't end the season on the disabled list. To date, the closer has finished 29 games with 35 appearances in total. Rosenthal notes (via Twitter) that Myers has a $500K bonus in his contract for being traded, but it's not yet known which team will pick up the tab.
The veteran has been linked to a handful of clubs recently including the Cardinals and the Mets but the White Sox weren't among the teams rumored to be interested. The right-hander has posted a 3.52 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 for the Astros this season.
Astros GM Jeff Luhnow has extremely busy this week, having just completed a ten-player swap with the Blue Jays. That deal brought six players to Houston including four minor leaguers and a player to be named later. In total, Luhnow has replenished the Houston farm system with eight prospects through these two deals.
Heidenreich, 21, has a 3.95 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 18 Single-A and Double-A starts this year. Houston announced that the former fourth-round pick in the 2009 draft will be assigned to Double-A Corpus Christi. The 6'5" right-hander boasts a fastball in the low-to-mid 90s and will likely fill out in the years ahead as he weighs in at just 185 pounds.
Walters, 22, has split time between Single-A and Advanced-A this year, posting a 3.96 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9. Prior to this season, Baseball America had the left-hander ranked as the No. 26 prospect in the White Sox organization.
Ryan Dempster, Francisco Liriano and Shane Victorino are among the most likely players to be traded within the next 11 days, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post writes. Those players are a step behind the Astros and Blue Jays, who announced a major trade this morning. Here are today’s links...
- There are “no game-changers” in the ten-player trade completed this morning, a rival evaluator told ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (Twitter link).
- The Mets don't have interest in Brett Myers and didn't have interest in Brandon Lyon before the Blue Jays acquired him from Houston, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
- The Athletics agreed to sign 16-year-old Dominican Jhonny Rodriguez, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). It's a $300K deal, the Dominican Prospect League announced.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggests we shouldn't be surprised if the Athletics work to add right-hander Daniel Straily to their rotation at some point soon. The 23-year-old has a 2.64 ERA with 162 strikeouts in 126 1/3 innings in the upper minors this year.
- Brett Lawrie, Justin Verlander and Buster Posey barely missed the cut for inclusion on Dave Cameron's list of the ten MLB players with the most trade value. Ryan Braun and Matt Kemp rank sixth and seventh, respectively, on Cameron's list at FanGraphs.
The Mets are interested in right-handed relievers Jonathan Broxton and Grant Balfour, but they aren't close on any deals, according to reports yesterday. Here are the latest Mets-related rumors, as GM Sandy Alderson considers ways of adding to his bullpen:
- Andy Martino of the New York Daily News hears that Brewers president of baseball operations Doug Melvin told Alderson that Milwaukee isn’t selling yet (Twitter link). Martino suggests Francisco Rodriguez -- the former Mets closer who continues to intrigue the team -- would already be on the Mets if the Brewers had a worse record.
- The Mets haven’t been very aggressive in pursuing Brett Myers, Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger reports (on Twitter). The trade candidate has 19 saves and a 3.52 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros this year.
- Assistant GM John Ricco told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that the team won't overpay for help.
With Chris Carpenter set to undergo season-ending surgery to repair a nerve condition in his shoulder, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that the Cardinals are in the market for at least one starter and one reliever. St. Louis has trade chips though the new collective bargaining agreement doesn't allow teams to recoup draft pick compensation for rental players, changing the landscape.
Let's round up the rest of Rosenthal's rumors...
- Zack Greinke would likely welcome a trade to - and a chance to sign long-term with - the Cardinals, though it's unclear if the Brewers would be willing to trade him within the division.
- The Astros are prepared to move Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers, though Jed Lowrie is essentially unavailable. Rosenthal says they could be an obvious trade partner for St. Louis since GM Jeff Luhnow spent nine years in the Cardinals' front office.
- The Cardinals may not want to invest $20MM+ annually into a pitcher, but both Lance Berkman ($12MM) and Kyle Lohse ($11.875MM) will be off the books after this season.
- The Blue Jays' immediate strategy may be to acquire a modest rotation upgrade before reassessing at the trade deadline, shortly before Brandon Morrow returns from his oblique injury. Rosenthal believes they should consider selling high on Colby Rasmus.
- Teams continue to call the Angels about Peter Bourjos and some believe he could be the centerpiece of a deal for a quality starting pitcher. The Halos believe the young outfielder is a building block for the future, however. They do not appear to be in the market for a pitcher at the moment.
- The difference in income tax rates between Texas (none) and California (among the highest in the country) was an issue for Astros first baseman Carlos Lee as he mulled over a potential trade to the Dodgers. Los Angeles may have been willing to help "bridge the gap" had he shown enthusiasm for the deal.
At 5.21, the Mets have the worst bullpen ERA in baseball by three-tenths of a run. Closer Frank Francisco is out with an oblique injury and Bobby Parnell has taken over ninth inning responsibilities, leaving the setup work to Jon Rauch and Miguel Batista. Ken Davidoff of The New York Post writes that the club is looking for bullpen help outside the organization.
“It’s not too early to do the research,” said assistant GM John Ricco. “It’s probably too early to make a move, although each year there is several pre-emptive ones. For the seller more than the buyer.”
Ricco also indicated that sometimes “you try to catch lightning in a bottle,” using the team's 2006 acquisition of Guillermo Mota as an example. Mota pitched to 6.21 ERA in 34 games for the Indians before being sent to New York and posting a 1.00 ERA in 18 appearances that year.
GM Sandy Alderson told Davidoff that the club hasn't ruled out the possibility of adding payroll, but they are weary of trading top-shelf prospects for volatile relievers. Davidoff mentions that the Mets are likely to get involved in any trade talks for Brett Myers and Huston Street, and not to rule out Grant Balfour as well.
Let's check in on the players who have vesting options for the 2013 season...
- Jason Bartlett, Padres - $5.5MM option vests with 432 plate appearances. Bartlett came to the plate just 98 times before being placed on the disabled list with a knee injury. There is no firm timetable for his return and it seems unlikely that the option will vest at this point.
- Kevin Gregg, Orioles - $6MM option vests with 50 games finished. Gregg has finished just six of the team's 70 games and it seems likely that Baltimore will keep the option from vesting.
- Brett Myers, Astros - $10MM option vests with 45 games finished or based on a points system. Myers has finished 23 of the club's 70 games and is a trade candidate. If he continues to close, the option seems likely to vest.
Chipper Jones has an option worth $9MM+ that will vest with 123 games played, but he's already rendered the option moot by announcing his plans to retire after the season. Chipper has played in 38 of the Braves' first 70 games.
Alex Gonzalez has an option worth $4MM that will vest with 525 plate appearances, but he is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Gonzalez came to the plate just 89 times before the injury, so the Brewers do not have to worry about this one kicking in.
Brett Myers’ $10MM option for 2013 vests if he finishes 45 games and doesn’t end the season on the disabled list, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports. Myers, who has already completed 20 games, can also trigger the option with a points system based on other qualifications.
Myers has a 2.25 ERA with 6.8 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and 14 saves this year. He'll earn $11MM in 2012 and his contract, which was restructured upon his return to the bullpen, includes a $10MM vesting option for 2013 with a $3MM buyout.
If the Astros trade the 31-year-old to a team that uses him as a setup man, the option likely won’t vest. There’s a good chance Myers will finish 45 games if he continues closing, but one executive suggested to Morosi that the $10MM vesting option isn’t that scary to prospective trade partners. “I wouldn’t imagine it’s going to be a huge hindrance,” the person said.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out that we should expect the unexpected once trade talk picks up this summer. For example, who expected Ubaldo Jimenez to be traded this time last year? Here are Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB...
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams says he’d prefer to focus on short-term goals for now and figure out whether to buy or sell closer to the July 31st trade deadline. “We’ll see where we are in July and then we’ll figure it out,” he said.
- Chase Headley is a popular trade target, Rosenthal reports. The Padres could replace Headley at third with Jedd Gyorko or move Gyorko to second if they hold onto Headley.
- The Diamondbacks explored the trade market for young catchers before signing Miguel Montero to an extension, only to find that acquiring a backstop such as Travis d’Arnaud or Austin Romine would have cost them top pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs and then some.
- Some executives wonder if the Blue Jays should make their move this summer, asking “If not now, when?” One person says the Blue Jays are monitoring Matt Garza of the Cubs.
- Carlos Lee can block trades to 14 teams, including the Dodgers, Rosenthal reports. Almost all of the teams on Lee’s no-trade list are high-revenue clubs. This provides Lee with some leverage, but doesn’t necessarily mean he’d block a deal.
- Brett Myers’ $10MM option for 2013 likely vests with between 40 and 50 games finished, Rosenthal estimates. If a team acquired the right-hander and used him as a setup man, the option wouldn’t become an issue. But teams interested in using Myers as a closer might have interest in re-working the option like the Brewers did with Francisco Rodriguez a year ago.
- The contracts for Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay of the Phillies include the same no-trade protection, Rosenthal reports. Each player can block deals to 21 teams per year.
- Dodgers president Stan Kasten expects his team to be “aggressive, but not reckless” in considering possible upgrades.
There will be interleague games throughout most of the season, starting next year, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reports. MLB will limit the number of interleague contests during the last five weeks of the season to ensure that most teams play within their own league down the stretch. Here are more of Stark’s rumors...
- Brett Myers told Stark he doesn’t want to be traded, but realizes it’s beyond his control. Though Myers doesn’t have a no-trade clause, he obtains a $500K bonus if dealt.
- The Phillies have “zero” interest in trading Cole Hamels or Shane Victorino, according to an executive who looked into the possibility of trading for the free agents to be. "They'd have to be really out of it to trade anybody,” the exec said.
- Some teams have expressed interest in rehabbing right-hander Chien-Ming Wang. The Nationals don’t seem interested in trading him, however.
- The Giants are sending signals that they’re in the market for a corner outfield bat, Stark reports. The Giants, who are also monitoring the infield market, may not have much selection since few power bats seem to be available.
- Rival teams believe the Astros are leaning toward selecting Stanford right-hander Mark Appel with the first overall selection in this June’s amateur draft. One person said Astros GM Jeff Luhnow seems to want to select someone close to the Major Leagues.
- The loss of pitching coach Dave Duncan entered into the Cardinals' thinking when they extended Yadier Molina earlier in the year, GM John Mozeliak told Stark. "With the fact that Dunc was gone, it was a subtle way of still keeping that same presence on our staff,” he said.