Myers happy to be headed to White Sox
The Astros continued to restock their farm system on Saturday by trading veteran pitcher Brett Myers and cash considerations to the White Sox in exchange for right-handed pitcher Matt Heidenreich, left-handed pitcher Blair Walters and a player to be named later.
Myers spoke exclusively to MLB.com on Saturday about the trade, saying he was excited to be going to a White Sox team that’s in first place in the American League Central.
“They’re in first place,” he said. “I’m pumped about that and to play for a team that’s fighting for a championship. That’s why I play the game, to win championships.”
Myers, who closed for the Phillies in 2007, has saved 19 of 21 games this year for the Astros in his return to closer. He has a $10 million option for 2013 that vests if he finishes 45 games this year. He has finished 29 games so far. There’s a $3 million buyout if the option doesn’t vest.
The Astros are expected to pick up most of the remainder of Myers’ $11-million contract for this year.
“I was happy they gave me an opportunity to re-establish myself as a starter, and this year they needed a closer,” Myers said. “They had a couple of guys to pick from and they asked me to do it and I was happy to do it. I had a good time there. It was good for my family and everything and it was a good place to play. I guess it just didn’t work out in the end for us.”
Myers, 31, signed a one-year deal with the Astros prior to the 2010 season and went 14-8 with a 3.14 ERA in 33 starts, earning him a two-year contract extension from former general manager Ed Wade. Myers went 7-14 with a 4.46 ERA in 2011 before being moved to closer prior to this year.\“Brett showed that he was a real team player by going to the bullpen for us and was very successful as our closer,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “We appreciate everything he has done for us.”
On Friday, The Astros shipped veteran starting pitcher J.A. Happ, veteran reliever Brandon Lyon and Minor League reliever David Carpenter to Toronto in exchange for seven players – reliever Francisco Cordero, outfielder Ben Francisco, four Minor League prospects and a player to be named later.
It’s the third major trade Luhnow has pulled off this month, having sent Carlos Lee to the Marlins on July 4 in exchange for two prospects. Earlier this year, he shipped veteran catcher Humberto Quintero and outfielder Jason Bourgeois to Kansas City for two Minor Leaguers.
Heidenreich (6-5, 185) was 9-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 18 combined starts at Class A Winston-Salem and Dobule-A Birmingham with two complete games and a shutout. The 21-year-old, who was the White Sox fourth-round selection in the 2009 draft, has a 25-17 record in four Minor League seasons with a 3.87 ERA in 75 appearances (56 starts). He will be assigned to Double-A Corpus Christi.
Walters, 22, was 4-6 with a 3.96 ERA in 18 combined starts with Class A Kannapolis and Class A Winston-Salem this season while tallying 93 strikeouts in 97 2/3 innings with 22 walks. Walters, who was taken in the 11th round of the 2011 Draft by the White Sox, has a 13-6 record in his two Minor League seasons with a 3.99 ERA in 32 appearances (31 starts) with 165 strikeouts in 171 1/3 innings of work. He will be assigned to Class A Lancaster.
“The pitchers we are receiving are talented young prospects with big-league upside,” Luhnow said. “They have had success in their young careers and we’re excited to add them to the mix.”