Brett Myers lands in Houston

So far this year, the Astros have committed $24.6 million to the likes of Brandon Lyon, Pedro Feliz and now Brett Myers.

In other words, the Astros are more than content spending for mediocrity. Lyon is a middle reliever, while Feliz is a no-hit band-aid at third base. At least Myers has some upside.

Rockies v. Phillies

The 29-year old joins an Astros rotation that desperately needed another starter behind Roy Oswalt and Wandy Rodriguez.

From 2003-2006, Myers was a young, up-and-coming starter capable of throwing 200 innings and serving as a No. 3 in the rotation. The next three years would see injury struggles and just plain ineffectiveness rear its head. Indeed, the last two years have seen Myers’ K/9 the lowest since 2004, when he posted a 5.52 ERA in 31 starts.

Myers’ peripherals have always been strong, however, as his career 3.90 xFIP would suggest (career 4.40 ERA). The downtick in fastball velocity from 1-2 mph has been enough to depress his strikeout numbers although his command has firmed up.

He missed over two months with right hip surgery and had a recurrence of a right shoulder strain, which knocked him out for most of 2007 as well. Assuming his velocity was impacted by these developments in 2009, he should reach 91-92 mph consistently with his fastball again. If he can do that, he has a chance to vault back up to a No. 3-caliber starter. The curve is his money pitch, but it abandoned him in 2009 — which may be connected to his hip troubles.

Myers represents a risk. Is it the type of risk the Astros should be taking? The minor leagues are one of the worst in the games, and this is a team intent on competing.

As a strict one-year deal, I wouldn’t fault this signing. Problem is, it’s not a one-year deal.

At $5.1 million ($3.1 million in 2009, followed by a $2 million buyout of a $8 million mutual option), Myers’ value in 2010 should provide a return on investment — one win at the least.

The mutual option is what turns me off. Sure, the option is essentially a $6 million deal because the buyout would be paid no matter what, but it seems like an awful lot to commit to someone whose contributions in 2010 are questionable.

Being on the hook for 2011 could end up being a headache for general manager Ed Wade.

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Comments

  1. Dan in Philly said...

    I’m just glad he’s out of Philly.  He was always tough to root for, and after his incident, it was even harder.  He’s not a terrible pitcher, but he’s not really a good one, either.

  2. Ed said...

    It’s not a Dayton Mooreish disaster either. Myers has always had good stuff and, with their budget being what it is, I don’t think there was another pitcher on the market who has the potential upside of Myers. If he’s healthy, he can be a sub 4.00 ERA, 180 inning starter. That is something the Astros could really use in their pursuit of 3rd place in their division, and a slightly below .500 record.

  3. Adam B. said...

    How is Ed Wade on the hook? Mutual option means both the team and player have to exercise it. That almost never happens. If Myers is bad, the team will not exercise it. If he’s good, Myers won’t. And if it’s somewhere in between, the market will determine what both sides think of things. Yeah, the 2 million buyout aspect of it looks bad, but it allows them to spread the spending of the money and keep money open if someone falls into their laps as they desire.

  4. Lisa Gray said...

    this is another case of ed wade’s obsession with ex-Phillies.

    myers is, at best, mediocre, and hasn’t had an above average year as a starter since 05. because he is being paid 5 mill, he WILL block any younger, better starter.

    and this isn’t even going into his being a scumbag of a human being, either…

  5. Jacob Rothberg said...

    Posted this on the last article about this guy, but I feel the need to expound. By all accounts this is a reprehensible human being. Like Charles Barkley said, athletes don’t have to be role models, but is it really necessary for us to enhance this criminal with multiple articles about him? There are thousands of active players in MLB and the vast majority of those have interesting quirks and stories and outlooks, why oh why is attention being devoted to a wife beating scumbag? This is not to say that we need to walk around with our eyes covered and our fingers in our ears, but can’t we devote articles to something better than this? Brett myers career is defined by three things: 1, general prickishness, 2, beating his wife, 3, mediocrity on the mound. Why does this garbage require anything more than a mere mention around these parts?

  6. lisa gray said...

    jacob,

    i agree with you 100%

    as an astros blogger, i unfortunately had to mention that he was signed. and basically said why i was NOT happy about it.

    i announced that unless he was released (PLEEEEEZZZZZZZZEEEEE) i would not mention his name again, but would discuss games without mentioning him.

    what makes me really up set is that most astros fans are VERY happy with this signing because he might could be better than moehler. there won’t be much of any complaining unless he stinks it up on the mound.

    fans are more furious that mcgwire used steroids and wouldn’t admit that he wouldn’t have been able to hit ML fastballs out of the park without being doped up. so someone beats up his wife. who cares? unless he was using roids at the time…

  7. Evan Brunell said...

    I wanted to touch on that hypocrisy by the Astros (see Lugo, Julio) but I couldn’t weave it in well. I will say that for the most part, off-field incidents seem to, in the end, mean jack in the sports world.

  8. Evan Brunell said...

    Oh, and I forgot to mention:

    Lisa, you say he will block a younger, better starter. I don’t see this happening, as he actually kicks out a worse starter in the rotation: Brian Moehler. And all due respect, tough for anyone on the major league team to block any Astros minor league prospect worth a damn.

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