Now that we're in the second half of October, it's time to take inventory of the roster's loose ends. We are laying out the cases for the White Sox' key likely free agents, which will then turn into storystreams (like this!) to keep track of all rumors and developments.
Today it's Brett Myers.
Last contract: The Houston Astros signed Myers to a contract extension on July 31st, 2010. The deal kept him in Houston when there were numerous trade rumors involving his name. The contract paid him a guaranteed $21 million if the club buys out his $3 million option for 2013 or $28 million if his option is picked up. The White Sox hold a $10 million option or can pay him $3 million to walk away. His 2013 option would have vested with 45 games finished, but Myers only finished 41.
How did he do: When Myers signed his last contract, he was a starting pitcher. He was 7-14 with a 4.46 ERA over 216 innings in 2011 for the Astros, who went 56-106. Myers was asked to move to the closer role for the 2012 season. He saved 19 games with an ERA of 3.52 for Houston before being traded to the White Sox at the deadline. For the Sox, he recorded a 3-4 record with a 3.12 ERA. On the season he was 3-8 with a 3.31 ERA, 19 saves, 41 strikeouts in 65.1 innings pitched.
Myers strikeout numbers are low. He relies on getting outs on batted balls, which sometimes leads to homers. Myers had a pretty good run with the White Sox, except for a few home runs hit against him at inopportune times.
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Did he earn his 2012 salary: Absolutely not. According to fangraphs, Myers WAR was 0.1, which would put him around $600K. He fared a little bit better under the baseball-reference version of WAR as he recorded 0.9. Using the 4.4 million per win, Baseball-Reference says he was worth about $3.96 million. Either way, it is a far cry from the $11 million he was paid. He didn't have much of a chance to be worth that contract though. Among all relievers in the majors, only Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman were worth more than the $11 million Myers was paid.
Free agent peers: Is Myers a starter or a reliever? Is he a closer or a setup man? I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and list him as a closer. The top echelon of closers available are Mariano Rivera and Jose Valverde. Myers falls into the second group with Jonathan Broxton and Brandon League as guys who have both setup and closed this past season. Myers (32) has a couple of years on those guys and has had some personal issues in the past which might scare some teams away, but he was a good soldier in his time with the White Sox.
It is possible he could find a team willing to take him on as a closer. It would be a team that believes with a little luck that they could maybe contend in 2013, like the New York Mets or Milwaukee Brewers. He also will receive offers to pitch for a good team in middle relief.
Reasonable price*: Two years, $8 million. A lot of teams can use a veteran pitcher like Myers towards the back end of their bullpen. Some that come to mind are the Phillies, Angels,Tigers and White Sox.
(* With the new TV deal, a number of teams may be inspired to open their wallets wide, and that could force us to adjust upward in a hurry.)