Posted on: August 19, 2011 7:04 pm
The Astros put Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers on the waiver wire Friday, according to sources, which could make the early days of next week interesting for teams that need starting pitching help.
While Myers is almost certain to clear waivers, because of his large contract and poor performance, the word in baseball last week was that at least one team had interest in claiming Rodriguez. Rodriguez's contract is also big (he is due $36 million from 2012-14), but he has pitched reasonably well this year, with an 8-9 record and 3.50 ERA.
Rodriguez starts for the Astros Friday night against the Giants, giving interested teams another look before they would need to make a decision on a claim.
Players who clear waivers can be traded to any team for the rest of the season. If one or more teams put in a claim, the Astros would have three options: either work out a trade with the team awarded the claim, or simply allow the claim to go through, or pull the player back off waivers and keep him for the rest of the season.
The Astros would trade Rodriguez, but they've been telling teams that they won't simply give him away. While incoming owner Jim Crane wants the payroll reduced to about $60 million next year, the Astros believe that by trading Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn, they have already cut enough salary. They also believe that they could trade Rodriguez this winter, if they want.
Posted on: August 1, 2010 9:23 pm
Cliff Lee lost his first start for the Rangers. Dan Haren not only lost his Angels debut, but he was knocked out of the box by a line drive.
Roy Oswalt lost his first Phillies start.
Yeah, it's great to trade for a starting pitcher, isn't it?
You make the deal with hopes that it will go the way it did for Lee last year, when he won his first five starts for the Phillies, then took them all the way to the World Series. You remember that CC Sabathia went 11-2 down the stretch with the 2008 Brewers, and changed the story of a franchise by taking them to the playoffs.
You remember Doyle Alexander (9-0) with the 1987 Tigers. You don't remember Jarrod Washburn (1-3) with the 2009 Tigers.
A starting pitcher traded at midseason doesn't get that many chances to affect the pennant race. Lee made just 12 regular-season starts for the Phillies last year; even Sabathia, who was dealt before the All-Star break and famously pitched on three days' rest down the stretch in September, started only 17 regular-season games for the Brewers.
The best deals make a difference, but with so few starts, each one is precious.
Oswalt makes his second Phils start this Wednesday in Florida. Haren makes his third Angels start Wednesday in Baltimore. Lee, who lost to the Angels in Anaheim on Sunday, will face the A's this weekend in Oakland.
Meanwhile, three other teams show off new starters this week, as you'll see in 3 to watch:
1. The Cardinals no doubt would have rather had Oswalt, but the guy they got was Jake Westbrook, who has come back well from Tommy John surgery. Westbrook's first start will come in Astros at Cardinals, Monday night (8:15 ET) at Busch Stadium . Westbrook is a career American Leaguer. He was 6-7 with a 3.56 ERA in 27 interleague games against National League teams. His opponent Monday is Brett Myers, the guy a lot of teams would have liked to have traded for; the Astros instead signed him to a contract extension.
2. The Dodgers were seven games out of first place at the deadline, and 4 1/2 games behind in the wild-card race. But the Dodgers obviously still believe they can win, as they picked up four players in the last week, including starter Ted Lilly, who will be a free agent at the end of the season. Lilly gets a tough assignment in his debut with his new team, facing Mat Latos in Padres at Dodgers, Tuesday night (10:10 ET) at Dodger Stadium .
3. Edwin Jackson keeps moving from team to team, impressing everyone with his stuff and his makeup, but never making enough of an impact that anyone decides he's indispensible. Will that change with the White Sox, his fifth team in an eight-year career? We'll find out, beginning with White Sox at Tigers, Wednesday night (7:05 ET) at Comerica Park . One interesting note: Jackson lost his final two starts for the Tigers, both against the White Sox last September. One reason he did, according to a source, is that he was tipping his pitches then and the White Sox had picked it up. Jackson is an interesting deadline pickup, anyway, because his career ERA after the All-Star break is 5.09, more than half a run worse than his pre-break ERA of 4.47.
Posted on: July 31, 2010 3:08 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2010 3:11 pm
Some teams looking for pitching had hoped to trade for Brett Myers this week.
The Astros would apparently prefer to keep him through next year. According to sources, Houston has been working on a contract extension with Myers, possibly firming up what is now a mutual option for 2011.
Myers is making $5.1 million this year. The mutal option for 2011 is for $8 million.
Myers, who signed with the Astros last winter, is 8-6 with a 3.10 ERA in 21 starts.
"Myers is the best guy out there," said one scout whose team has been desperate to add pitching. "He has pitched better than all of them, including [Roy] Oswalt."
Posted on: July 18, 2010 8:28 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2010 8:45 pm
Yankee fans cared very much about George Steinbrenner and Bob Sheppard. Baseball fans everywhere have cared very much about Stephen Strasburg.
Now Alex Rodriguez is approaching 600 home runs.
Do you care?
There's been amazingly little A-Rod buzz, and from what I was told, there wasn't much reaction from the Yankee Stadium fans when Rodriguez hit his 598th home run Sunday against the Rays.
You'd think it would be a meaningful milestone. Only six players have hit 600 home runs, and A-Rod (who turns 35 on July 27) will be the youngest ever to get there -- unless it takes him more than a year to hit two more home runs.
So why is there no buzz?
Is it that Rodriguez admitted using steroids earlier in his career? Is it that the steroid era has made 600 home runs seem that much less significant? Are we waiting for him to approach Willie Mays (660 home runs), Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762), the numbers that earn A-Rod $6 million bonuses in his most recent contract? Do we just not like A-Rod?
Or maybe the buzz is suddenly going to appear Tuesday night, when A-Rod gets his first legitimate chance at reaching 600. He needs two more home runs, and he has hit two or more in a game 55 times in his career.
Not only that, but he has hit 67 career home runs against the Angels, by far the most he has hit against any opponent.
For the record, none of the six guys with 600 home runs hit Nos. 599 and 600 in the same game. Ruth came closest, hitting them on back-to-back days in St. Louis, in 1931.
A-Rod took nearly two weeks between 498 and 500, and also between 398 and 400.
So this countdown could take a while. But unless the buzz builds, this may be the only time it appears in 3 to watch:
1. Two years ago, when Ken Griffey Jr. reached 600 before a sparse crowd in Miami -- maybe there wasn't that much buzz then, either -- Rodriguez told Tyler Kepner of the New York Times that it's always better to reach big milestones at home. Rodriguez has six chances to get to 600 on this homestand, starting with Angels at Yankees, Tuesday night (7:05 EDT) at Yankee Stadium . At least Rodriguez won't be facing Scott Kazmir, who has held him to four hits -- and no home runs -- in 29 career at-bats. Kazmir went on the disabled list Sunday, and the Angels told reporters that they plan to call up a starter from the minor leagues to pitch Tuesday. A-Rod is also homerless in 35 plate appearances against Wednesday starter Joel Pineiro. He has four homers in 19 at-bats against Jered Weaver, who won't pitch in this series.
2. The fans want to see Strasburg. The scouts, most likely, will instead head for Chicago, to watch potential trade targets Brett Myers and Ted Lilly face off, in Astros at Cubs, Wednesday afternoon (2:20 EDT) at Wrigley Field . In a pitching market that no longer includes Cliff Lee, Myers and Lilly could be two of the more attractive properties.
3. Nothing against Bronson Arroyo, who will be Strasburg's opponent in Nationals at Reds, Wednesday night (7:10 EDT) at Great American Ball Park , but wouldn't it have been more compelling if Strasburg was starting a day earlier, against fellow rookie Mike Leake, or a day later, against Edinson Volquez? Apparently ESPN didn't care, as yet another Strasburg start has been scheduled for national television. Can't say I blame them.
Posted on: July 6, 2008 1:50 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2008 3:53 pm
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.