Minutes ago, Brad Mills announced to reporters in Kissimmee, Florida, home of our spring training, that Astros pitcher, Brett Myers, will move from the rotation and into the closers spot. Brian McTaggart was first to tweet it. This is not an unfamilar move for Myers as he closed for the Phillies in 2007 and recorded 21 saves. This move will open up a spot in the rotation for either one of our younger arms such as Dallas Keuchel or Paul Clemens or it could go to one of our veterans that was signed to a non guaranteed deal such as Livan Hernandez or Zach Duke.
Myers has a clause in his contract that if he pitches a certain amount of innings (I believe it to be 200), that his $7 mil option for 2013 vests. You might think that this move will pretty much kill any chance of that happening but Mills also stated that his vesting option has been re-worked so a good, healthy year out of the bullpen will make his option vest, but he did not go into any more specific details. Myers only has one other year of closer experience, or bullpen experience for that matter, which came in 2007 with the Phillies. He posted a 4.33 ERA while recording 21 saves. The move is quite the surprise but not shocking as the Astros do not have a go to guy to be their closer. This will likely increase Myers value at the trade deadline if he is successful in his new role as his season last year was a far cry from his career year in 2010. Mills was asked about Brandon Lyon, the Astros former closer before he was injured, but said Lyon was okay with the move and will compete for a spot in the bullpen. Assuming Lyon makes the team, with this move, the Astros current bullpen payroll is now over $15 mil. Let’s hope it works out for the best.