Astros reportedly reluctant to trade starter Brett Myers

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While the focus has understandably been on Roy Oswalt, his rotation-mate Brett Myers is another good starting pitcher likely to be targeted by contenders before the trade deadline.
Last night he tossed seven innings of one-run ball against the Cubs, marking the 20th time in 20 starts this season that Myers has logged at least six innings. In addition to the workload reliability he has a 3.24 ERA and 101/41 K/BB ratio in 136 innings overall and has just one fewer Quality Start than Oswalt.
While not really a fly-ball pitcher Myers has struggled at times to keep the ball in the ballpark, serving up an average of 31 homers per 200 innings during eight seasons with the Phillies. However, he’s been able to keep the long balls in check since joining the Astros as a free agent this offseason and has a 4.33 ERA in 203 career starts.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Astros are reluctant to trade Myers and “will need to be overwhelmed in order to move him” because they “hope that he could be a foundation for future rotations.” Which doesn’t really make sense, because he’ll be 30 years old next month and figures to choose free agency instead of the $8 million mutual option in his contract for 2011.
As a veteran who’s increased his value significantly since signing a team-friendly one-year contract this offseason Myers is exactly the type of player the Astros should be looking to cash in for prospects that can actually be part of the long-term plans and Rosenthal notes that he’s “attracted interest from multiple clubs.”

Report: Mariners acquire Chris Heston from the Giants

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network and FOX Sports reports that the Mariners have acquired starter Chris Heston from the Giants. The Giants will receive a player to be named later, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Heston, 28, logged only five innings in the majors this past season as he battled an oblique injury and otherwise spent most of his time with Triple-A Sacramento. Heston was solid out of the Giants’ rotation in 2015, posting a 3.95 ERA with a 141/64 K/BB ratio in 177 2/3 innings over 31 starts.

Heston will be under team control through 2021. He’ll provide depth for the Mariners’ rotation in the meantime.

Joe Nathan wants to pitch in 2017

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 16: Joe Nathan #36 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the ninth inning of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Comerica Park on August 16, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Mariners 4-2.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images
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Joe Nathan‘s agent, David Pepe, says his client wants to pitch in 2017, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “He’s like the Energizer Bunny,” Pepe said.

Nathan, 42, came back from Tommy John surgery in July, pitching two scoreless innings for the Cubs with four strikeouts and two walks. The Cubs released him and the Giants picked him up, and Nathan went on to pitch 4 1/3 scoreless innings down the stretch with five strikeouts and two walks.

According to FanGraphs, Nathan’s velocity wasn’t where it used to be, which is to be expected of a pitcher in his 40’s coming back from major elbow surgery. Still, with teams always on the hunt for bullpen depth, it would be shocking if Nathan didn’t get any bites before spring training starts.