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Indians begin New Year by signing Brett Myers

Indians begin New Year by signing Brett Myers
January 1, 2013
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The Cleveland Indians have come to terms with right-hander Brett Myers, according to multiple sources. The deal is for one-year, but includes a club option for a second year. Terms of the deal haven't been released yet.

Myers recorded a 3.31 ERA in 2012, striking out 41 batters and walking 15 over 70 appearance and 65 1/3 innings. Myers started the season out of the Houston Astros bullpen, recording 19 saves before he was dealt to the Chicago White Sox. He stayed in the pen for the pale hose, but was used primarily as a set-up man, entering every game in the seventh game or later.

In 35 appearances with the lowly Astros, Myers pitched in 30 2/3 innings, striking out 20, while walking only six, He recorded a 3.52 ERA as the Astros closer. On July 21st, Houston sent the righty to the White Sox for three minor league prospects. He was even better in the American League, although he was in the set-up role. He made an equal 35 appearances over 34 2/3 innings, striking out 21 batters and walking nine. He lowered his ERA to 3.12 in his first career American League stint.

Myers was shopping himself this offseason as a starter, and he last was used as a regular starter from 2010-2011 with the Astros. During that two year stretch, Myers wen't 21-22 in 67 appearances (all but one as a starter), while striking out 340 and walking 123. His ERA was a solid 3.78.

While Myers has had successful stretches out of the bullpen over the years, he's been an incredibly durable starter. He was exclusively used as a starter for the Phillies from 2002-2006, and from 2003-2006, pitched in at least 176 innings all four seasons. In three of those seasons, he pitched more than 190 innings. The Phillies needed a closer in 2007, and Myers moved to the pen, saving 21 games for the Phillies that year. He moved back to the rotation in 2008, and again pitched in 190 innings that season.

Myers had an injury plagued 2009. He missed time with a torn labrum in his hip, and his return was pushed back until September after he injured his eye slipping out of his truck.

Myers pitched in 200 innings or more in both seasons as a starter for the Astros.

There is no doubt that the Indians have signed Myers as a starter, although there are reports to the contrary. It may be that the Indians ultimately use his as a reliever during the season, but that will only happen should either the need arise via trade or injury.

Tune into IPI for more information regarding the Myers trade.


Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as  the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at

User Comments

January 2, 2013 - 2:32 PM EST
Again, there are stats to show many things for and against the deal. Myers is clearly a guy who has some warts and who also has some value. it's why he only got 1 year, but why he also got $7 million. Bottom line, over the 7 seasons he has been exclusively in the rotation he has logged an AVERAGE of 201 innings and the season after he last was in the bullpen (2009) and went back to a starter (2010) he logged 223 innings that year. If he is healthy and performs, he should be able to log around 200 innings in 2013.
January 2, 2013 - 2:18 PM EST
7 million is a bit high for Meyers imo. There are obviously reasons he was demoted to the bullpen and to expect him to come in and eat innings after only throwing 65 innings or so, is a stretch.

But it isn't the worse signing they ever made. Not by a long shot.
January 2, 2013 - 12:25 PM EST
I really liked this signing when I went to bed last night but reading they paid 7 million for Brett Myers seems like an overpay. I liked the signing at half that amount. I still think he will be a solid innings eater and win about 10-12 games and post 180-200 IP but still to much. P.S. At least we are talking about the Indians being to aggressive and over spending rather than signing old washed up players or never made it to their potental prospects to minor league contracts.
January 2, 2013 - 10:54 AM EST
Mlbtraderumors says Myers deal is for $7M. Seems like an overpay signing --- Joe Blanton and Brandon McCarthy signed for near similar, but both signed 2 yr deals. The appears to overpaid a little for a shorter deal. Low risk move, signing Myers for similar. He could be a solid MOR arm.

Btw, it's not uncommon that for a pitcher to pickup velocity if they are moved to the bullpen. When stretched out as a SP they pace themselves and typically that results in a few lost mph on the FB.

As for injuries Myers has had one season facing injury, which was the labrum in his hip. The same season - he fell from his truck - so he said, which result in an facial injury. He's had no arm or shldr concerns at all.

Furthermore, Myers has never been moved to the bullpen as a result of injury or ineffectiveness. Myers replaced Gordon in Philly bc of of injury. Myers replaced Melcanon in Houston, as a result of a trade.

Myers isn't a huge signing, he is what he is, a MOR to BOR arm. He's a solid veteran innings-eater and fans should expect he pitch every 5th day and log 180+ innings and will probably have an ERA near 4 or slightly above. Nothing to write home about but solid, that's what the Tribe needs, period.
January 2, 2013 - 9:30 AM EST
If they pick up one other actually decent player, I won't hate that they signed Myers. They can use one depth starter, for the reason Rich mentioned. But if they follow this up with sig another below average pitcher, or position player (and this is what I expect to happen), then it's a bad move, and represents a missed opportunity. If they're counting on Drew Stubbs and Brett Myers to turn back the clock to 2010, that is not a good thing.
I Like the deal.
January 2, 2013 - 8:13 AM EST
good deal for tribe's sp depth
maybe tribe join offseason.
January 2, 2013 - 8:05 AM EST
If he's lost 3 mph off an already marginal fastball (89-90) then I don't see how he's an effective starter anymore. His numbers weren't bad in relief last year, but that's a whole different ballgame when you can spot him against certain hitters.

I think the Indians will be happy if he gets off to a good start like Lowe last year and pitches decently through April and May to where Carrasco can take over. Then they can either trade Myers if he's still pitching well or move him to middle and long relief.
January 2, 2013 - 1:20 AM EST
That 4.46 era is better than any starter in the Indians rotation last season. Also fip just takes into account home runs allowed walks strike outs and innings pitched. Myers pitched better in the al last year than the al by the way. I agree it is a risk but its a better risk than kotchman or Damon. He's a consistent performer and the white Sox must have thought highly of him giving up three prospects last season for a half season of his services.
January 2, 2013 - 12:56 AM EST
I think this deal could go either way depending on how much they give him.
January 2, 2013 - 12:55 AM EST
FIP is more predictive than ERA, but if you want to talk about ERA, Myers' was 4.46 when he was last starting. He's now two years older and is again used to going an inning at a time, and he's moving to the AL. I just think signings like this are the classic mistake for low-budget teams like the Indians. We see it year after year, guys like Durbin, Damon, Kotchman, Sizemore ... it's a waste of money and means they are unable to upgrade in another area. It's always better to spend a little more to get a clear upgrade. I'll wait to see what, if any, other moves they make before totally hating this, but signing Myers and another non-upgrade back-of-rotation scrub is exactly the type of move that has gotten them where they're at ... identical to signing Lowe/Sizemore and passing on Willingham.
January 2, 2013 - 12:47 AM EST
Myers' injuries were a home injury and hip.
Hopefully, he will not get hurt again, and his arm is healthy.
Jiminez, Masterson, Myers, McCallister = rotation.
Fifth man?
Alternate Bauer & Carrasco & use the other in long relief.
Hold both of them under 150 innings.
January 2, 2013 - 12:13 AM EST
Kluber had alittle success this season but remember most was against teams already extended to their 40 man roster. Myers is like a Randy wolf or kevin millwood he's not flashy but he is going to do well in your rotation eat innings. The FIP statistic you keep pushing. You can find any statistic to make a player look similar or better than another player. Bottom line is saying a kluber who has 64 subpar innings as a starting pitcher or Carlos carrasco who threw no innings last season at the major league level is a better option than Myers is just plain wrong. I agree Myers isn't a big name guy but spending big money for average pitchers like lohse, marcum, jackson, and Sanchez would be counter productive. Myers is here to give the prospects like carassco, Bauer, and Salazar another year to get themself fully ready for the mlb.
January 1, 2013 - 11:56 PM EST
Good, this is just the guy I wanted us to sign.

I had speculated that I'd like to see him for 2 years at a total of $7 or $8 million, but one with a team option certainly works for me too.
January 1, 2013 - 11:55 PM EST
Kluber had a 4.29 FIP last year in 63 IP, Myers FIP the past 2 season, one as starter and one as reliever, was 4.26. I agree Gomez and Huff shouldn't sniff the rotation in Cleveland, but Carrasco was at a similar level, 4.28 and 4.13 his last 2 years. Myers is the last pitcher I'd have wanted, since you don't even know how capable he is of starting at this stage in his career. I just don't think you can project Myers to be better than Masterson, Ubaldo, McAllister, Carrasco, Bauer, or Kluber ... he's basically equivalent to the last 3 of those guys who all cost virtually nothing. They'd be better off investing whatever they're spending on him on a left-handed OF/DH. I'm very curious to see what they are paying him. To me, $3 million would be an overpay. Don't really get why anyone thinks he can still be a successful starter. He was decent, though still below average, as a reliever last year, but his fastball velocity was 3 mph higher than when he last started ... that velocity's going to go right back down when he's asked to go multiple innings again.
January 1, 2013 - 11:29 PM EST
Seth, I will simply just agree to disagree with you on this. If the option for me is to have Myers as the #5 starter or have any of Gomez, Kluber, or even Huff.....I take Myers hands down. More proven and consistent. Sure, those "other" guys may be just as good, but so far they haven't proven that at all in multiple opportunities. I'd rather have them as depth.
January 1, 2013 - 11:19 PM EST
Myers has had all kinds of injuries over the past half decade, shoulder, hip, it's the reason he first went to the bullpen for Philly. He hasn't started a game in 2 years, and when he was last starting, averaged 88mph with his fastball with a 4.46 ERA in the NL. I seriously doubt he'll be able to be effective or healthy as a starter, much less an innings eater. It's the pitching equivalent of the Kotchman signing last year. Better to just go with the guys you already have who cost you nothing and will likely be just as good. Myers likely has value as a reliever, but a right-handed reliever is the last thing they need. Unless they are planning on dealing Chris Perez.
January 1, 2013 - 11:06 PM EST
Jake, I can't see House, Fedroff, Lee or Salazar being in danger. All just added to 40-man and most of them have value. Should be one of the guys long in the tooth on the roster for awhile and out of options or who have low value after Swisher/Reynolds pickups.
January 1, 2013 - 10:27 PM EST
No one has said this is a major upgrade or he's a front of the line starter but Brett Myers is the same pitcher who finished 10th in the nl cy young award voting in 2010 as a starting pitcher on a terrible Astros team . He's only 32 and has shown no signing of being a health concern. Adding Myers to the rotation is an upgrade over Kluber, Huff, or Gomez. Each role he has been asked to do whether is was as a starter a setup man or a closer he has done well in. Brett Myers will be a solid innings eater and bridge the gap for pitchers like Bauer, Carrasco, and Salazar.
January 1, 2013 - 10:09 PM EST
Not sure why anyone likes this signing. Is Myers even capable of starting these days? He was a starter in 2011 and wasn't horrible, but was below average ... his 4.26 FIP the last 2 years is nothing to get excited about. I doubt he amounts to an upgrade over Kluber. This is more like the Indians signings of years past, where they waste money on non-upgrade veterans.
January 1, 2013 - 9:49 PM EST
I like the signing it will save the Indians money to sign either a dh, another starting pitcher, or the left handed reliever they need. Got the dfa I personally don't want to see carrera gone he's the perfect 4th outfielder since he can play all three spots. What happens if its a Danny salazer, tj house, or Chen Lee do the Indians stand a chance to lose them? Also do you think it could be Tim fedroff? He can hit but he's a low reward prospect that I don't see being a player we should protect over a carrera.
January 1, 2013 - 9:40 PM EST
Something to take into consideration is Carrera and Gomez are both out of options. And right now I see no way Gomez makes the team out of spring training. They probably hold onto him as long as they can, but would not be surprised to see him DFAed now.
January 1, 2013 - 9:30 PM EST
I just wish I could see what the front office likes about that stiff Frank Hermman. He would be one of the guys Iwould DFA. Too many guys in bullpen and minors, better then this stiff. Maybe they keep him to shine Terry spikes.
January 1, 2013 - 8:28 PM EST
I really wish that Neal could be spared, but they're not going to DFA Carrera over him, there's no way that they DFA Gomez with all the troubles that they have had with their rotation over the past couple of years, and I have a feeling that the Indians are intrigued by McDade too much to risk losing him.

I also don't see him getting much bullpen action, Myers was holding out a for a deal guaranteeing him a rotation spot, I doubt he'd be at all happy about being bumped out of another one if the Indians can help it.
January 1, 2013 - 8:02 PM EST
The Indians have to remove two players from the 40-man because Swisher has yet to be officially added as well. As to what two players are DFAed, I have to think Neal is one if them. After that I'd say Diaz, Carrera, Gomez and even McDade are all in harms way.
Rich S.
January 1, 2013 - 7:57 PM EST
I like his versatility to be used as starter, long man or back end. Too bad he sin't left-handed.
MT88 in WI
January 1, 2013 - 7:55 PM EST
I'm intrigued by the signing but I want to see the rest of the contract details b4 saying great/ ok/ Boo.

Let's be honest - if the Tribe just shelled over $30M for 1 yr + option yr, I doubt anyone will be happy.
January 1, 2013 - 7:48 PM EST
Who leaves the 40 when Myers is added?
January 1, 2013 - 7:23 PM EST
Solid pickup by the Indians. Not as sexy as say Edwin Jackson or Kyle Lohse, but could still produce similar results if he is healthy and on his game. Not a big gamble either, and I think it leaves the door open to pickup one more player in FA.
January 1, 2013 - 7:16 PM EST
wow that is a good get he is an innings eater and that is exactly what the doctor ordered this makes spring training very interesting for 2, 3, 4, and 5th starters in the pecking order
to be determined and creates some nice decisions to have to be made between ubaldo myers, zac mac, kluber, car car and the blue chipper we got from az. BRAVO FRONT OFFICE and no long term committments
January 1, 2013 - 6:47 PM EST
I like the Myers signing . Not much of a gamble (in a good way) as he's been solid when healthy. Our rotation needs some "solid".

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