The Houston Astros lost 106 games in 2011, a franchise record. They're going to put much the same team on the field in 2012, and very easily could top the century mark in losses again.
That makes this decision all the more interesting:
This idea didn't originate with Myers or Mills, either:
Jeff Luhnow first approached Mills with the idea for Myers to close. Mills thought about it and agreed. Then they brought it to Myers.— Alyson Footer (@alysonfooter) February 28, 2012
Give the Astros credit for thinking outside the proverbial box, at least. They didn't really have a clear candidate to close after the trade of Mark Melancon to the Red Sox. Brandon Lyon, who missed much of 2011 with an assortment of injuries, had been listed as closer on the team's current depth chart.
Myers has experience in closing; he saved 21 games for the 2007 Phillies after previous closer Tom Gordon went down with an injury. If he does well in the role, it's possible that some closer-less team might be willing to deal for him at the trading deadline. In the meantime, Myers won't lose any money from the switch:
Brett Myers' vesting option reworked so it's not based on starts; a good healthy season out of the pen gets him there.— Zachary Levine (@zacharylevine) February 28, 2012