MLB Trade Ideas: Updating Brett Myers' Potential Suitors If the Astros Struggle
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It has been an ugly start for the Houston Astros, which sit at 2-7 and in the NL Central cellar. One of the few bright spots has been starting pitcher Brett Myers, who doesn't have a decision through his first two games of the season, but he was the starting pitcher for the Astros lone win. He also was the Opening Day pitcher and should've gotten a win if it wasn't for Brandon Lyon giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth to the Phillies.
Both of his starts so far this season qualified for quality starts. He has pitched 13.1 innings over the two starts with an ERA of 2.03. He also has held opponents to a batting average of .200, but because of the Astros slow start, it may be advantageous for them to consider moving Myers for prospects with the future in mind.
There have not been any reports made that any of these teams are in connection with the Astros as possible trade partners, but these teams make sense to me as far as being interested in trading for Brett Myers.
Boston Red Sox
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The Red Sox pitching has struggled so much this season that they brought in UConn men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun and gave him a shot. Well, not exactly, as he only threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game on Friday, but the Red Sox pitching has been awful so far this season.
Brett Myers alone has more quality starts than the entire Red Sox staff, which has only one through the first eight games. Clay Buchholz and John Lackey have both struggled in the early going. Other than Jon Lester, no one has looked even decent.
I would put the chances of a trade between Boston and Houston for Brett Myers very low because of the money that is tied up with the current Red Sox staff. It would be tough to put one of those pitchers in the bullpen to make room for Myers. However, if the Red Sox continue to struggle this badly, Theo Epstein may feel the pressure to make a move to try and shake things up, and Myers would be a great addition to that staff.
Kansas City Royals
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I don't think anybody expected the Royals to get off to the start they have. They took three out of the first four from the Angels and they have played three extra-inning games, winning two of them. They have won these games primarily because of offense and some timely hitting. Their pitching rotation doesn't really scare many teams.
Bruce Chen and Jeff Francis are off to good starts, but they don't have much after that at the major league level. The Royals do have some talented arms in the minor-league system, but they are not ready just yet.
If the Royals believe they can compete this year for the division title, it would be worth the gamble to get a pitcher like Brett Myers. He would provide some veteran leadership and would be that true ace the rotation is missing. He also has a very reasonable contract that wouldn't inflate the Royals payroll that much.
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The LA Angels are a very talented team, but the talent level drops off after their big three of Dan Haren, Jered Weaver and Ervin Santana. Scott Kazmir has struggled this season and is now on the 15-day DL, and Matt Palmer isn't anything great.
A pitcher like Brett Myers could make this a very dangerous team in the AL West, as I believe they would have a rotation that could compete with Texas. Whether they have enough fire power at the plate is another story, but if the Angels are able to run a staff of Haren, Weaver, Santana and Myers out there, it would substantially increase their chances at a division title.
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Probably the biggest surprise so far this season has to be the start of the Baltimore Orioles, which are sitting in first right now in the AL East. Buck Showalter has done a great job of changing the organizational culture in a very short time and he has the team believing it can compete with anyone in the majors.
I think a veteran arm like Brett Myers would be a great addition to the young pitching rotation that the O's have. Being in the AL East, you need as many quality pitchers as you can get going up against offenses like the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays.
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The Detroit Tigers are a very talented team, more talented than their record shows at this point in the season. The Tigers have talented pitchers in Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello, but it looks like the Brad Penny experiment will be a failure. Penny has given up 12 runs over his first two starts and he has not been able to pitch six innings in either start.
The AL Central will be the most competitive division this year with the White Sox, the Twins and the rejuvenated Royals and Indians playing well. The Tigers are arguably the most talented of any of these clubs and replacing Brad Penny with a pitcher like Brett Myers could get the Tigers over the hump and back in the picture.
New York Mets
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Another team that has been surprisingly competitive in the early going is the New York Mets. They are 4-5 through the first nine games. It is even more surprising that they have been able to do it with pitchers like Chris Young, who hasn't pitched a full season since 2007.
The Mets are in a division with the Phillies and Braves, which have some of the top pitching staffs in Major League Baseball, and they will need as many quality arms as they can get. The Mets will be getting Johan Santana later this season. If Young and R.A. Dickey can stay effective, adding a pitcher like Brett Myers could keep the Mets in the Wild Card race through the majority of the season.
New York Yankees
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This makes the most sense to me as the perfect trade partner for the Houston Astros. The Yankees have a championship-type offense and can probably outscore anyone, no matter who they have pitching.
But come playoff time, you need pitching and the Yankees don't have it. There is a huge drop between their top pitcher, CC Sabathia, and AJ Burnett, and they have a really weak rotation after that. Brett Myers would be the perfect complement to CC at the top of the rotation as they both are workhorses who just eat up innings.
The Yankees would be able to have a rotation of Sabathia, Myers, Burnett and Hughes come playoff time. With that offense, there is no reason the Yankees couldn't get back to the World Series.