Tag:Brett Myers
Posted on: October 14, 2010 7:21 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:57 am
 

R.I.P. Astros: Moving on

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Now: the Houston Astros.

Few teams were as bad as the Astros were in the first part of the season, and then few teams were as good as the Astros in the second half of the season.

Carlos Lee WHAT WENT WRONG

When I see Carlos Lee (pictured), I sometimes I think of the line in "Major League" when Charlie Donovan says, "I forgot about Dorn, because he's jolly high-priced." Lee owed $37 million through the next two seasons.

Lee didn't hit a homer in the season's first month, entered June with a .206 batting average and finished the season hitting .246/.291/.417 with 24 homers and 89 RBI. He's a below-average designated hitter that plays in the National League.

It's not to say Lee was all that was wrong with the Astros. Others struggled, such as Lance Berkman and Pedro Felice.

What may have been more devastating was seeing prospects the team had been counting on, such Tommy Manzella, Jason Castro and J.R. Towles struggle.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Brad Mills A lot of credit has to go to first-year manager Brad Mills. The team went 40-59 in their first 99 games of the season before finishing 36-27 the rest of the way. Mills also did it without some of his high-priced talent, as the team jettisoned Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman and Pedro Feliz.

Third baseman Chris Johnson had a good season, going .308/.337/.481 with 11 homers. Hunter Pence cashed in on the promise he'd shown early in his career, hitting .282/.325/.461 with 25 home runs, 91 RBI and 18 stolen bases.

The team relied on good starting pitching during its good streak from Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris and J.A. Happ, and all four of those starters return for 2011.

HELP ON THE WAY

Ugh. Not really. That's the problem with cutting your losses and going young -- you need young players to replace the old ones. It's cheaper, but the Astros have one of the worst farm systems in the majors.

EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

The second half of the season raised the bar for the Astros, so fans will be expecting at least a .500 team, if not a run at the NL Central title.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

The Astros took the right direction during the season, trading Berkman and Oswalt.

Houston has Berkan, Oswalt, Feliz and Kaz Matsui off the books, but there's not a whole to to spend that money on in free agency.

Although Berkman had hinted that he wanted to return to Houston, the teams needs to resist nostalgia and give Brett Wallace a chance at first base.

2011 PREDICTION

The optimism from the last part of 2010 will be gone by the All-Star break and the team will finish ahead of the Pirates in the National League Central, but won't be challenging for a title.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .


Posted on: August 1, 2010 2:33 pm
 

Astros extend Myers


Brett Myers The Astros aren't exactly going all-in with the youth movement, as the team will keep one veteran, announcing an extension with right-hander Brett Myers on Sunday.

In a week that saw Houston moved its second-winningest pitcher (Roy Oswalt) and its second-most prolific home run hitter (Lance Berkman) in franchise history, the team signed Myers to a $21-million deal through 2012. The deal has a club option for 2013 that can become vested through Myers' 2012 performance. With incentives, the contract could be worth $29.5 million.

Myers, who will turn 30 later this month, signed with the Astros after eight years with the Phillies that saw him serve as a starter and a reliever.

As a starter this season, he's gone at least six innings in each start and is 8-6 with a 3.10 ERAm striking out 113 and walking 42 in 145 innings.

Myers is an interesting choice to keep over Oswalt, but he's definitely cheaper and younger, two things the Astros desperately need.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: July 31, 2010 10:11 am
 

Astros may move Myers, Rodriguez

Wandy Rodriguez The Astros are fielding offers for both Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez, as FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal notes .

Brett Myers has had a fantastic season, and there's no wonder why teams are targeting him in the hours leading up to the 4 p.m. trade deadline. He may be the best pitcher remaining on the market .

He comes at a steep price, however. We've been hearing for a while the Astros are lukewarm about moving Myers. That's a bit curious because while the Astros hold an $8 million option for 2011 on the righty, it's a mutual option. If Myers continues the season he is having, he would certainly opt out and sign a richer deal.

Thus, while it's OK for the Astros to try to get as much as they can -- such as Josh Thole and Bobby Parnell from the Mets, as SI.com's Jon Heyman reports -- the idea that they could let the deadline go by without a deal is odd.

The top suitors for Myers seem to be the Mets and Twins. Minnesota also in on Wandy Rodriguez, who has one final year of arbitration remaining. He is making $5 million on the year, so his price tag will rise. Given he can't help Houston's next contending club, Houston should absolutely be looking to trade Wandy.

Rodriguez (pictured) has a 4.80 ERA in 20 starts, but his xFIP is 4.21 and is coming off two straight seasons of an ERA below 4 -- getting all the way down to a 3.02 mark in 2009 and topping 200 innings pitched for the first time in his career.

While trading Myers and Rodriguez would thin out the Astros' pitching staff (unless they got major-league ready pitching in return),  they shouldn't let that stand in the way of any deal. The best possible deal the team can make is one to turn the team around quickly and start a new era of contention.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 30, 2010 1:38 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 3:46 pm
 

Trade deadline profile: Brett Myers

Leading up to Saturday's trade deadline, the MLB Facts & Rumors team takes a look at the biggest names on the trade block. Friday takes a gander at the best starting pitcher left on the market, Houston's Brett Myers.

Career stats : 81-69, 261 G, 201 GS, 4.26 ERA in 1328 2/3 IP, 1,099 K, 455 BB

Contract status : Myers signed a one-year, $5.1 million deal that includes a 2011 mutual option of $8 million with a $2 million buyout attached.

Brett Myers Why he's desirable
Brett Myers is having a sensational season, no two ways about it. His home run rate is unsustainably low, but has no BABIP trends that scream fluke and a solid 2.69 K/BB ratio. He's pitching a bit over his head, but not by that much and is easily the best pitcher remaining on the starting pitcher market that is known which includes luminaries such as Jeremy Guthrie, Ted Lilly and Jake Westbrook.

Why he's available
Available probably isn't the right word -- teams are calling on Myers but the Astros seem unwilling to listen, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman. Can you blame Houston? Myers is having a career season and the Astros would prefer not to decimate their roster even as they rebuild. In addition, while doubtful, Houston is hoping for a relatively quick rebuild.

While 2011 contention is out, Myers has a more than affordable $8 million mutual option the Astros can exercise and at least give the club a fighting chance at a win one out of every five days. For Houston to part with the righty, teams will have to submit a very strong offer that forces Houston's hand. That's not out of the realm of possibility, as teams continue to sour on other mid-rotation starters that aren't much better than in-house candidates.

Who is interested
The White Sox were thought to be making a play for Myers, although with the acquisition of Edwin Jackson, might be out of the race -- unless Jackson is spun for Adam Dunn. Then, Chicago's right back in the market for a starting pitcher.

The division-rival Twins have also been linked to Myers, but after dealing Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps of the Nationals, would the Twins be interested in extending their budget yet again and depleting the farm yet again?

The Mets also inquired into Myers, but were scared off by the Astros' asking price. No other team has been linked recently, although the Dodgers would certainly love to have Myers' services, as would near any team still in contention.

Brett Myers Expected return
There isn't any word what the Astros want in return for Myers, but given that he's been considered "untouchable" by Houston -- posturing for sure, but not all that far off the mark -- it will absolutely take a top prospect to acquire Myers, perhaps even more. And that prospect will have to be close to major-league ready, as the Astros aren't interested in a long-term rebuilding process. The following is just speculation, but of the teams above, the following names might make sense for Houston:

Fernando Martinez from the Mets, who could become a starter for the Astros. F-Mart's luster has fallen off as of late, however. The Astros would also certainly ask for Jon Niese, whom the Mets have near-zero interest in dealing.

If the White Sox wanted to remove even more top prospects from their system, the Astros would go after Jordan Danks  or Brent Morel. Dayan Viciedo is a possibility, but he would not be the centerpiece.

The Twins could be persuaded to part with Ben Revere, but Danny Valencia is probably not going anywhere given the Twins' need for him in the bigs.

What happens
The Astros will hang onto Myers and cross their fingers that Myers agrees to return to town on the mutual option. If he does, Myers becomes a virtual lock to be traded at the deadline in 2011.

More trade deadline targets -- Jorge Cantu (trade profile ) | Scott Downs (trade profile ) | Adam Dunn (trade profile ) | Roy Oswalt (trade profile )

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 19, 2010 1:21 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2010 4:16 pm
 

Trade deadline buyer: New York Yankees

As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looms, the CBS Facts & Rumors team will look at the biggest players leading up to the deadline. This week we'll look at the teams who will be talked about the most; next week will be the players who might be moved.

Every transaction talk, be it trades or free agents, seems to start with the Yankees and this time is no different.

Brian Cashman Record: 58-33, three games ahead of the Rays and 6 1/2 in front of the Red Sox.
GM: Brian Cashman
Expectations: Anything short of another World Series title is failure, plain and simple.
Payroll status: Not that it matters, the Yankees had an opening day payroll of more than $213 million and already have more than $144 million on the books for 2011.

What they need

Starting pitcher: With Andy Pettitte on the disabled list and A.J. Burnett's recent hissy fit, the Yankees suddenly look to need at least one starter. Until now, the opening day rotation of CC Sabathia, Pettitte, Burnett, Javier Vazquez and Phil Hughes had started all but two of their games. That could be matched this week alone. The team may also be wary of letting Hughes' innings add up through a pennant race and the playoffs. Sergio Mitre is scheduled to start in Pettitte's place, but until now, he's been more successful as a reliever than a starter.

Bullpen help: Starting pitching isn't the only pitching concern the Yankees have as Joba Chamberlain's days as the bridge to Mariano Rivera may be numbered, and it's not as if Chan Ho Park is going to step up and replace him.

Damaso Marte was placed on the disabled list this weekend with Boone Logan called up as the team's only left-handed reliever.

Big bat: Marcus Thames has been better than expected as the Yankees designated hitter, hitting .287/.396/.437 with three homers and 13 RBI in 87 at-bats, but he's hardly a difference-maker. This spot -- especially if Jorge Posada is healthy enough not to need a DH safety net -- could be upgraded, especially if that upgrade could be a spot starter in the outfield.

Bench help: After the regulars, the Yankees feature the likes of Ramiro Pena and Colin Curtis. The team could certainly upgrade its depth in both the infield and the outfield.

Who may fit

Ted Lilly Starting pitcher: Cliff Lee would have been a great fit, but he's gone. Lee was the marquee name available and there's a decided step down after the newest Texas Ranger. Other starters out there are Ted Lilly, Jake Westbrook, Brett Myers, Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren and maybe even someone like Brian Bannister.

Reliever: There are stop-gap attempts like David Aardsma and Leo Nunez, or the Yankees could go for the kill with someone like Royals closer Joakim Soria. Soria is under club control until 2014, so it would take more than just cash, but also top-flight prospects to get the Royals closer and team him with Rivera to make a formidable back of the bullpen.

Other, less expensive, fits could be either of the Blue Jays pair of relievers, Scott Downs or Jason Frasor.

Bat: Again, going for the kill would be Adam Dunn. Dunn in new Yankee Stadium would be a marriage made in heaven. Dunn doesn't want to DH and he doesn't really have any other value, but he would flourish both in the American League and in pinstripes. Still, the Yankees may not want to give up too much for a player they can just buy in the offseason.

If the Yankees can find a top-end starter, they could send Vazquez to Philadelphia for Jayson Werth. David DeJesus would upgrade the outfield, as well.

Bench help:
Wes Helms and Ty Wigginton are corner possibilities and Wigginton can play second, as well. Xavier Nady and Austin Kearns are possible outfield bats that may not be big, but could work for the Yankees.

Trade chips

Jesus Montero Catching prospect Jesus Montero was reportedly only available for Lee, however the almighty dollar is always available. Any team looking to clear cash off the bottom line will talk to the Yankees, who could send middling prospects loaded up with money sacks to any team that's interested. And there are always teams interested in that kind of prospect.

Right-hander Zach McAllister is 7-6 with a 4.82 ERA in 18 starts at Triple-A. He doesn't have dominant stuff, but has good control and projects as a back of the rotation-type pitcher.

Right-hander Ivan Nova, 23, has better stats than McAllister (7-2, 3.21, 78 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings) and has an impressive fastball. Nova has impressive talent, but has also struggled with consistency as a pro. This season is his best yet, and there's a question as to whether he's reached his ceiling. Still, he's got enough talent to be intriguing to other teams.

Mark Melancon has long been bantered about as the replacement for Rivera when Mo decides to turn his sights to Cooperstown, but Melancon has yet to live up to that hype. He could be one of those players that need a change in scenery to live up to his potential, and there's enough potential for other teams to take a chance on him.

Other possibilities include SS Eduardo Nunez and 2B David Adams, who was one of the other guys mentioned in the Lee trade.

Predictions: The Yankees will add a reliever and a starter -- possibly Lilly and the lefty Downs. Other than that, the team may think it doesn't have to do too much to keep ahead of the Rays and Red Sox.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: July 7, 2010 7:23 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2010 7:23 pm
 

Dodgers searching for pitching

Roy Oswalt The Dodgers have spoken to the Astros, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Indians and Mariners about solutions to the Dodgers' pitching conundrum, reports Evan Drellich of MLB.com. The Dodgers need both starters and relievers.

Manager Joe Torre said that pitching is what the Dodgers are focusing on in any particular deal and expects a deal to eventually be swung. Complicating things is that Los Angeles doesn't have much left in the budget to add, thanks to the brewing divorce between owner Frank McCourt and his wife as well as a current payroll of $102 million according to Cot's Contracts.

So which pitchers could the Dodgers get from the aforementioned teams? Let's take a look.

Astros: Houston has starting pitcher Brett Myers available who is on a one-year deal and has been the second-best starter on the team with a 3.57 ERA. Of course, there's also Roy Oswalt (pictured), who has a standing trade "request" but is due $15 million over the balance of 2010 and $16 million in 2011. And who's to say Oswalt won't demand the $16 million team option for 2012 be picked up if he's traded? With a full no-trade clause, Oswalt has that ability.

The Astros also have a number of relief arms, but none that stand out as an optimal replacement for the Dodgers' current arms -- at least, that would be available. Brandon Lyon is near untradable and it's tough to imagine Houston parting with Matt Lindstrom.

Blue Jays:
The Jays have lost 12 of the last 15 and are in fourth place in the AL (B)East, 11 1/2 games out. It's safe to say the honeymoon is over, and the Jays have plenty of pitching available. Their starting pitching are all young, cost-controllable and quality so it's hard to imagine Toronto dealing any of those. The relievers, on the other hand, should be plentiful.

Kevin Gregg has extensive experience pitching in the NL and in close games. He's posted a 3.94 ERA over 32 innings. Left-hander Scott Downs, one of the best setup men in the bigs, is having another fantastic season and Shawn Camp has emerged as another qualty bullpen arm. Casey Janssen is just 28 and is a quality middle relief arm but certainly fungible to a rebuilding squad.

Diamondbacks:
Now that the GM and manager have been offered a ticket out of town, interim GM Jerry DiPoto has a lot of decisions to make. One of which is if Dan Haren should be traded, something outgoing GM Josh Byrnes also grappled with. Haren is inked through 2012, getting $8.25 million in 2010 and $12.75 million in 2011 and 2012, affordable for a perennial Cy Young contender. The question here is two-fold:

First being if the Diamondbacks would be willing to swap Haren to an intradivision rival, the second if the Dodgers have enough in the farm system to acquire Haren. The Dodgers were ranked No. 21 in minor-league talent rankings by Baseball America prior to the season and Haren figures to command more than Lee will.

Indians:
The Indians have Jake Westbrook most available, who is finishing up a contract that pays him $11 million on the season. Cleveland is ready to have a fire sale (as detailed here ) but has yet to find anyone to their liking that has been dangled for Westbrook. Westbrook would cost significantly less than one of the top-tier pitchers on the market in terms of prospects due to the contract and the fact he is a mid-rotation starter.

Kerry Wood, provided the Indians chipped in a healthy sum of money to make up for about $5 million remaining on Wood's deal, could also head to the Dodgers.

Mariners:
The obvious one is Cliff Lee, of course. With about $4 million remaining to Lee, he would easily fit into the Dodgers' payroll. He would also allow Los Angeles a way to beef up its farm system by offering arbitration to the lefty after the season -- which Lee would certainly decline. The Dodgers' payroll collapses to a projected $61 million next year, so a Lee extension is possible as well.

Other potential names that may have been swapped could include closer David Aardsma who could fit in a pitcher's park throwing gas as a setupman. Relief pitcher Brandon League is having a solid season as well.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 28, 2010 11:41 am
 

Moehler wins spot in Astros rotation

By designating Josh Banks for assignment, the Astros have solidified their rotation… for the time being, writes the Houston Chronicle 's Bernardo Fallas .

Here's how the rotation stacks up while Felipe Paulino recovers from shoulder tendinitis: Bud Norris faces the Brewers today, followed by Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez. Brian Moehler will pitch Thursday in San Diego, followed by Roy Oswalt, who is still an Astro at this point, but that could change.

Moehler and Banks had a one-off for the No. 5 spot this weekend against the Astros. Moehler went five innings and allowed three runs (two earned) and picked up the win on Friday, while Banks lasted just four-plus innings and allowed six runs, all earned, in his outing.

Paulino cannot be activated until July 6 at the earliest.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
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