At first glance, the Phillies' decision to sign Brad Lidge to a three-year, $37.5 million contract extension wouldn't seem to have any effect on Brett Myers, now that Myers is a starting pitcher (and a struggling starter who was recently sent to the minor leagues, at that).
But two sources familiar with the situation said today that Myers would much prefer to be a closer, something that's no longer even a long-term possibility in Philadelphia. The sources also said that the Phillies are open to trading Myers, who would still seem to have value despite his struggles this season.
While there has been talk in baseball that the Phillies have floated Myers name in their talks with Cleveland regarding C.C. Sabathia, an official familiar with those talks said Myers hadn't been offered because the Indians are interested in younger, cheaper players.
Myers became the Phillies closer when Tom Gordon was hurt last year, and he converted 21 of 24 save opportunities. The Phillies moved him back to the rotation after trading for Lidge, and he became their opening day starter. Myers began the year 3-9 with a 5.84 ERA and a National League-leading 24 home runs allowed, and he agreed to a temporary assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
It's possible that Myers could benefit from a move back to the bullpen, because as a starter his velocity has been down.
For now, Myers is still starting in Triple-A, trying to get himself straightened out. He's scheduled to make his second start for the Iron Pigs Monday night.
Myers makes $8.5 million this year, and he's signed for $12 million for 2009.