It wasn't long ago we talked about the youth in the Chicago White Sox bullpen — at that time it housed five rookies, including 23-year-old Addison Reed as closer.
With that type of imbalance and inexperience in one critical area, and with a division championship there to be competed for, you had to know a general manager as aggressive as Kenny Williams would be looking to add a veteran presence to the mix. According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, that exactly what he did on Saturday, acquiring 31-year-old right-hander Brett Myers from the Houston Astros in exchange for right-hander Matt Heidenreich, left-hander Blair Walters and a player to be named later.
Myers, who has pitched as a starter for the majority of his career, actually spent most of the 2007 season in the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen. He would end up converting 21 saves in 24 attempts during a four month run as their closer. During spring training, the Houston Astros decided to reintroduce Myers to the closer's role, and he was faring pretty well with 19 saves and a 3.52 ERA. Though it's definitely worth noting his K/9 has dipped to 5.9 in 2012. For his career that number sits at 7.3, and in that one previous run in the bullpen he posted a 10.9 K/9.
Still, adding Myers to the bullpen gives Robin Ventura another experienced option (along with Matt Thonrton) should he elect to take the ninth inning pressure off Reed, and with Jesse Crain returning from the disabled list on Saturday, their middle and set up relief depth has been significantly upgraded, regardless of where the rookie skipper plugs in the pieces.
When you factor in the White Sox are only picking $1 million of Myers' remaining salary this season, this sure looks like another favorable deal and a good all around day for Williams.
Unless of course it isn't. These things are always subject to change and change quickly.
As for the Astros angle, the Myers dump comes one day after general manager Jeff Luhnow completed a 10-player deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. The notables moved then were left-hander J.A. Happ and right-handed reliever Brandon Lyon. Among those brought back was a pitcher with 329 career saves in Francisco Cordero. One would have to assume he'll slide into the closer's role now vacated by Myers, at least for the short-term, while they continue to develop their own young crop of talent.