Brett Myers is here to help

Brett Myers is here to help
Pictured: Brett Myers doing non-objectionable things // MCT Photo

Faced with a bullpen where the only men with an ERA under 3.50 are Jesse Crain--who's record has been saved by being on the DL for the last month--and Donnie Veal--who has faced two batters this season--Kenny Williams took the time to act upon what had become a fairly glaring need.

On Saturday, the White Sox acquired RHP Brett Myers from Houston in exchange for minor leaguers LHP Blair Walters, and RHP Matt Heidenreich, as well as a player to be named later.

Additionaly, the Astros will be covering up pretty much all of the cost of owning and operating Myers, paying all but $1 million of his salary for 2012, and sending over additional funds to pay for the $3 million buyout of the $10 million vesting option for 2013 he'll likely earn.

Myers has been closing for the Astros, and in the tunnel-vision analysis of such a role, he's done well there, saving 19 games in 21 chances.  The 3.52 ERA is also fine enough to suggest he can help this group, but the peripherals are a bit uglier.  He's only struck out 20 batters in 30.2 IP along with four home runs.  The 54.3% groundball rate will serve him well in Chicago, though.

He's not going to much better than Matt Thornton, but better to have two Matt Thorntons to shuffle between than one Matt Thornton and an unvarnished rookie who Ventura doesn't trust.

Despite Myers holding down the 9th inning in Houston, Kenny Williams made a point to leave things open-ended about his role.

Myers will work in bullpen, ninth inning is up to Robin

— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) July 21, 2012

KW says no one wavering in confidence in Addison Reed. "It's time to make a push,'' referring to reinforcements.

— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) July 21, 2012

Before the door was slammed shut in the post-game by Ventura

Reed to remain closer, RV says

— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) July 21, 2012

Unless Myers--who has only served as a closer this year and in 2007--is particularly revered for his 'closer mentality', he doesn't have the stuff to bump out Reed unless Addison continues to flounder.

With a minimal financial hit, and two prospects going out that John Sickels' described as potential back-end starters/relievers that are very far away, the cost is minimal, which is good, since Myers isn't elite.  There's a pretty low floor to be a contributor to this bullpen, and while this lacks the potential of the Youkilis trade, it's similar in its lack of risk.

It's worth mentioning that Myers' earlier career in Philadelphia was marked with a domestic violence arrest for striking his wife, and other displays of anger problems.  He's done nothing to call attention to himself since joining the Astros in 2010, so it's not exactly a mirror of the time Ron Schueler scooped up Wil Cordero in 1997, but anyone familiar with the Myers incident probably lacks warm feelings for the man.  Rob Warmowski has an inspired idea for how to deal with the cognitive dissonance that rooting for Myers might bring about.

Dylan Axelrod has been optioned to AAA Charlotte in response, where he can lie in wait, ever vigilant, should an opportunity to spot-start arise.

No mid-season trade by Kenny Williams would be complete without some declaration of absolute determination to deliver playoff baseball to the South side, so here it is.

"I just felt like the men in that clubhouse earned a little help," said Williams, after adding the 31-year-old late-inning hurler along with cash considerations in exchange for Minor League pitchers Matt Heidenreich and Blair Walters. "It has gotten to a point where it's time to make a push."

 

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