The White Sox declined Brett Myers’ $10 million club option for 2013 earlier this week, instead paying him a $3 million buyout. Now that he’s a free agent, Myers tells Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com that he’s willing to market himself as both a starting pitcher and a reliever this winter.
“I’ve got the mentality, I want to pitch,” Myers said. “Whichever way a team wants me to go I’ll do. I think I’ve proven I can start. I’ve proven I can do both. Hindsight is 20/20. Some teams might like me in the bullpen. Some might like me as a starter. It’s up to the team.”
Myers saved 21 games for the Phillies back in 2007, but was a starter from 2008-2011 before the Astros moved him back to the closer role this year. The 32-year-old right-hander compiled a 3.52 ERA, 19 saves and a 20/6 K/BB ratio over 30 2/3 innings before being traded to the White Sox in July. He then enjoyed success as a set-up man, posting a 3.12 ERA and 21/9 K/BB ratio over 34 2/3 innings. The White Sox considered picking up his option and using him as a starter next season, but they ultimately decided to let him test the open market.
There’s little downside to Myers being flexible about his role, as it will allow his agent to talk to a wider swath of teams before determining the right fit.
Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.
After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.
With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.