Astros GM Jeff Luhnow pulls off another quiet one, today sending righty Brett Myers to the White Sox, according to a source of Ken Rosenthal’s. We’ll have to wait to hear what the return is, but, depending on the money, I don’t expect it to be significant.
Myers, 31, makes $11 million this year, and has a $10 mill vesting option for 2012 or a $3 million buyout (the option vests if he finishes 45 games this year – he’s finished 29 so far). That is all to say, he probably wasn’t particularly expensive. And, since being returned to to the bullpen this year, he wasn’t particularly valuable. Although he has pitched decently this year – 3.52 ERA, 1.337 WHIP, 3.33 K/BB, 19 saves – that comes in just 30.2 innings of work. He started in 2010 and 2011 for the Astros, succeeded in the first year before coming back down to Earth (well, below it, I suppose) in 2011.
The White Sox may be thinking about putting Myers back in the rotation, as a few other teams were reportedly thinking when showing interest in Myers this season. To the extent he’s viewed as a starter, Myers was not really in the same tier of market options as Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza – or maybe even Paul Maholm – so this trade doesn’t do much to impact the market for the Cubs. Indeed, the White Sox haven’t been rumored as legitimate suitors for one of the Cubs’ arms in quite some time.
Otherwise, Myers will slot into the White Sox pen, and offer a fair upgrade there. Whether he’ll close, however, remains to be seen.
Once we learn the return for the Astros on the deal, it’s possible the market impact will be felt – for example, if the Astros got a surprisingly good return, that could help the Cubs as sellers.
I suppose the move also impacts the Cubs in this way: the Astros, now having dumped quite a bit of their pitching core, are due to play even worse in the next two months than they’ve played thus far. With a high draft pick at stake, that could make things “tougher” on the Cubs, to the extent the two teams end up directly vying for a top pick.
UPDATE: The return is a couple of interesting, but not overwhelming pitching prospects (Blair Walters and Matt Heidenreich), plus a PTBNL. The Astros are sending along a ton of cash, such that the White Sox’s total commitment to Myers is only about $1 million). Both were fringe top-30 guys in a weak system. Not a terrible return for the Astros, but not market-moving, either.