Just one day after acquiring Francisco Cordero from the Toronto Blue Jays, the Houston Astros made yet another splash on the trade market, sending closer Brett Myers to the Chicago White Sox for right-hander Matt Heidenreich, left-hander Blair Walters, and a player to be named later.
For those chasing or hoarding saves, you may want to add the ever frustrating, but experienced, Francisco Cordero. Cordero has accumulated 329 career saves with the Rangers, Brewers, Reds and Blue Jays, but is having a less than spectacular season in 2012: 3-5 with two saves, a 5.50 ERA (4.65 xFIP) and a 1.86 K/BB. Maybe getting CoCo out of the AL East will be a blessing.
In the event that the Astros go in another direction, Wilton Lopez could be the choice for ninth-inning duties. Despite the lack of experience, Lopez has been a far better pitcher than the aforementioned Cordero thus far in 2012, going 3-0 with a 2.29 ERA (2.73 xFIP) and a 7.00 K/BB in 34 appearances (35.1 IP).
I’m adding Cordero first, but if you’re desperate, add him and Lopez to ensure you’ve locked down saves in Houston.
Update: Manager Brad Mills has named Francisco Cordero the closer in Houston.
In Chicago, the addition of the veteran bullpen arm may not indicate the end of Addison Reed’s reign as the team’s closer. The rookie closer has experienced a few bumps this year, but has saved 15-of-18 with a 4.24 ERA (4.20 xFIP) and a 2.44 K/BB. Not that bad for a guy with just about ~40 career innings at the Major League level.
When White Sox GM Kenny Williams was asked about the bullpen reinforcements, he indicated that “no one was wavering in confidence in Addison Reed. It’s time to make a push.” The White Sox held a half-a-game lead on the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central heading into Sunday.
Myers saved 19-of-21 games as the Astros’ closer, with a 3.53 ERA (3.83. xFIP) and a 3.33 K/BB.
I’m holding both Reed and Myers for now until we see how Manager Robin Ventura uses each going forward, but the above comments from Williams lead me to believe Reed will keep his job for the time being.
Update: Addison Reed will remain the closer for the White Sox.
The addition of the prospects is further evidence that GM Jeff Luhnow is making a serious effort to bolster the Astros’ farm system, which Sickels ranked 25th amongst MLB clubs.
Blair Walters, ranked as the 26th best prospect in the White Sox organization by Baseball America, is a left-handed starter with an arsenal that includes a low-90’s fastball, cutter, sinker and a changeup. In 18 starts between the South Atlantic and Carolina Leagues in 2012, Walters is 4-6 with a 3.96 ERA and a 4.22 K/BB.
Matt Heidenreich, a 4th round pick in 2009, is a right-handed starter who will head to the Astros from the Double-A Birmingham Barons on the Southern League. Heidenreich is said to feature a low-90‘s fastball in addition to a “raw” curve and changeup. In 18 starts between the Carolina and Southern Leagues in 2012, Heidenreich is 9-4 with a 3.95 ERA and a 3.94 K/BB.
Written by Alan Harrison for TheFantasyFix.com. Follow Alan's rants on Twitter @TheFantasyFix and @MinorLeagueBuzz.