Houston Astros fans were surprised when Brad Mills announced Brett Myers would be the Astros' primary closer heading into the 2012 season. The biggest reason was Myers was expected to be No. 1 or No. 2 in the rotation; a rotation that was atrocious last year.
Well it is hard to argue with Brad Mills' decision thus far as the rotation is much improved and Myers has looked pretty impressive in the early parts of the season. Myers has converted both save opportunities and hasn't given up a run yet in three appearances.
According to Mark Berman's tweet, GM Jeff Luhnow has stated that he is not shopping Brett Myers. While it is nice to see an organization be loyal to a player, it is a mistake not to move Myers this season and sooner rather than later.
These are the seven best reasons to move closer Brett Myers.
Joakim Soria, Ryan Madson, Drew Storen, Andrew Bailey, Kyle Farnsworth and recently Brian Wilson all have gone down with significant injuries. Sergio Santos joined this club over the weekend, finding himself on the 15-day DL.
Now the Soria injury may not be a big deal considering the Royals have been awful and don't have any postseason aspirations, but every other team, though, has some focus on playoffs. All these teams could use a veteran closer to help their bullpen and I am specifically talking about Boston, who has proven no lead is safe with them.
Brett Myers has pitched in the playoffs with the Phillies both as a starter and a reliever and this type of experience would be invaluable to teams.
He has appeared in four games in the postseason as a reliever going three innings, giving up only one run and striking out five. He has shown pitching in these high-pressure situations doesn't affect him and he can be a good bullpen arm.
Myers has already shown in his career he could be an effective starter or closer for teams. At this point in his career, though, he may be suited better in a reliever-type role.
Still, this type of flexibility with a pitcher can help a manager and a team. Myers can be a back-of-the-rotation guy, a long reliever out of the bullpen and even the team's primary closer.
Brett Myers is in the final year of his contract so any team that did make a trade for him would not be stuck with him for the long term. This could be a good plan for teams who have those injured closers like the Giants. Once the season is over, they can go their separate ways and hand the ball back over to Brian Wilson next year when he is healthy.
Brett Myers is in line to make $11 million this year, which is a steep salary for a closer and even steeper for a team like Houston who won't be making the playoffs this year. The Astros are in rebuilding mode and with poor attendance could look for ways to save a buck or two.
Even though Myers is in his final year, the Astros would most likely still have to pay some of his contract, but it would be better to pay $3 million or $4 million in a trade than his full salary of $11 million.
If Brett Myers has a great year and shows he has value as a top closer in this league, a number of teams will be looking at him this offseason. If this happens to be the case, why not try and move him during the season bringing a prospect or two back?
Now, it would be foolish to expect the Astros to get a top prospect in return but when Houston traded Pedro Feliz to the Cardinals, they got David Carpenter. He has struggled a bit this season with walks but has given up only two earned runs in seven appearances.
It would be better to see the Astros get something, no matter how small, than nothing if Myers walks this offseason.
The Astros are rebuilding this year and this comes as no surprise to anyone. They have actually been rebuilding for some time now, but it looks like they are heading in the right direction.
While it is good to have some veterans on the team, it is also important to give younger players experience in certain situations, like closing games. One player who should get some time in this role is setup man Wilton Lopez.
This guy has some electric stuff and is a hard thrower, but that doesn't equate to a good closer. It is just as much mental as it is physical. Look at what happened to Brad Lidge after he gave up that home run to Albert Pujols in the playoffs. It took him a couple of years to get back to being an effective closer.
With Myers as the team's closer he is taking away from finding out if any of these young prospects have what it takes to be the team's closer in the future.