The Cleveland Indians recently reinstated right-handed pitcher Brett Myers off the 60-day disabled list and proceeded to give him his unconditional release, reports the Associated Press on ESPN.com. The New York Yankees, who are still short on pitching for the stretch run, should look into signing the veteran.
Myers wasn't effective in 21.1 inning with Cleveland this season. He pitched to a 8.02 ERA in four appearances (three starts). His ineffectiveness can be attributed mostly to the strained tendon in his elbow that caused him to miss so much time.
Cleveland signed Myers for $7 million on a one-year pact this offseason, and he was expected to bring stability to a young rotation. With experience in both the rotation and bullpen, Myers was the perfect candidate to mentor the team's young pitchers. Instead, he was a huge bust.
It was not long ago that Myers enjoyed a career season, though. In 2010 (at age 29), Myers went 14-8 with a 3.14 ERA in 223.2 innings pitched on a Houston Astros team that won 76 games.
He was also effective in 2012 out of the bullpen for the Astros and Chicago White Sox. He made 70 appearances between the two clubs, recording a 3.31 ERA and 19 saves.
The Yankees could certainly use another starter for September. Phil Hughes has become a liability as a starter in recent weeks, as the team never knows what type of performance he'll give. More often than not, the performances are terrible.
Myers hasn't been effective this season, and he hasn't been overly effective as a starter since 2010. That being said, it's hard to imagine him being much worse than Hughes—assuming he's healthy, of course. If general manager Brian Cashman shows interest in Myers, he'll undergo an extensive physical to make sure his elbow checks out.
In a worst-case scenario, Myers could be bumped out of the rotation and put in the bullpen. He was consistent in 2012 in such a role and has been reliable in that role in previous years.
Signing Myers would be the typical "lightning in a bottle" signing Cashman has been notorious for in recent years. If he pans out, Cashman looks like a genius. If he fails, the Yankees can release him again or find a lesser role for him.
The Yankees need to take some risks if they want to make up ground in both the American League Wild Card and AL East races, and signing Myers is one such risk worth taking.