The Astros moved right-hander Brett Myers from the rotation to the back end of their bullpen for one simple reason: to increase his trade value. And Houston is apparently already looking to cash in.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted late Saturday night that the Jeff Luhnow-led ‘Stros are “shopping” Myers, hoping to catch the interest of teams that have experienced early problems in the ninth inning (like, well, maybe the Giants).
Myers, 31, has allowed no runs and just one hit in two innings of work this season. He registered a 4.46 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 160/57 K/BB ratio across 216 innings (33 starts, one relief appearance) last year.
There isn’t a great market for innings-eating starters, but in-contention teams are always looking for relief help near the middle of the summer. Myers might not be moved this month, but he’ll be on the go eventually.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.