The Houston Chronicle’s Zachary Levine was lucky enough to get the following quote from Astros GM Ed Wade after asking him about the trade deadline this afternoon:
“We’re going to be viewed as a land of opportunity for teams to try to improve the teams that are in contention.”
Because of the huge firestorm about to erupt when Brett Myers is put up for bids?
As usual, Wade is a year too late. Myers likely would have netted an excellent prospect had the Astros made him available a year ago when he was 8-6 with a 3.10 ERA at the deadline. Instead, Wade signed him to a two-year, $23 million extension that he’d love to pawn off on someone else now. Myers is currently 3-9 with a 4.88 ERA.
The Astros only have three veterans with much in the way of trade value — Wandy Rodriguez, Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn — and they have no one ready to step in should they trade any of them. Outside of Jeff Keppinger, they don’t even have any role players likely to attract any interest from contenders.
So, Wade is probably doomed. The Astros have the worst record in baseball, and regardless of what Wade does this summer, they’re going to be the obvious favorites to finish last in the NL Central again next year.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.