|The White Sox acquired closer Brett Myers from the Astros for a pair of high Class A pitching prospects and a player to be named in Houston’s third trade of July. The Astros received 21-year-old righthander Matt Heidenreich and lefty Blair Walters, an 11th-round pick out of Hawaii last year.
UPDATE: The White Sox traded low Class A righty Chris Devenski to the Astros on Aug. 3 to complete the transaction.
Houston sent approximately $3.45 million to Chicago to cover all but $1 million of Myers’ remaining salary this season. A $10 million option for 2013 will vest if Myers finishes 45 games this season—he had 29 at the time of the trade—but White Sox general manager Ken Williams said Myers will not function as Chicago’s closer, meaning that the White Sox will in all likelihood buy out the reliever’s option for $3 million.
The Astros add two more arms to a farm system that had position players ranked as five of its top top eight prospects heading into the season. The ranks included first baseman Jonathan Singleton, center fielder George Springer, shortstop Jonathan Villar, right fielder Domingo Santana and second baseman Delino DeShields. The group expanded by one with the No. 1 overall draft selection of shortstop Carlos Correa in June.
The pitching prospects acquired by first-year GM Jeff Luhnow in trades this season: lefties Kevin Chapman (from the Royals), Rob Rasmussen (Marlins), David Rollins (Blue Jays) and Walters (White Sox); plus righthanders Asher Wojciechowski, Joe Musgrove (Blue Jays) and Heidenreich (White Sox).
|Matt Heidenreich, rhp
Age: 21. Born: Jan 17, 1991 in Coronado, Calif.
Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 185.
Bats: L. Throws: R.
School: Temescal Canyon HS, Lake Elsinore, Calif.
Career Transactions: Selected by White Sox in fourth round of 2009 draft; signed June 20, 2009.
Heidenreich made the Carolina League all-star team and started the game for the home-team Winston-Salem Dash. He delivers sinkers at 88-92 mph from a lanky 6-foot-5 frame and shows feel for an average changeup and fringe-average curve. He doesn’t miss many bats, but nor does he miss the strike zone often, as evidenced by a sterling walk rate of 1.5 per nine innings this season. Heidenreich has scuffled to a 5.89 ERA and 1.75 WHIP through his first three Double-A starts, but he’s young for the Southern League and typically requires time to adjust to each new level. With enough command of his sinker he could be a candidate for a job at the back of a big league rotation.
|Blair Walters, lhp
Age: 22. Born: Nov 8, 1989 in Oak Park, Calif.
Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 200.
Bats: L. Throws: L.
Career Transactions: Selected by White Sox in 11th round of 2011 draft; signed June 9, 2011.
Walters went 9-0 for Rookie-level Great Falls last summer, then won two playoff games (including the finals clincher) and took home Pioneer League pitcher of the year honors. His stuff doesn’t quite match up with that performance, as he features a low-90s sinker, a cutter with late bite and a fringy changeup—the sort of repertoire befitting a former college reliever. Like Heidenreich, Walters finds the strike zone enough to profile as a back-of-the-rotation arm, though his margin for error is slim.
|Chris Devenski, rhp
Age: 21. Born: Nov 13, 1990 in Artesia, Calif.
Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 195.
Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Cal State Fullerton.
Career Transactions: Selected by White Sox in 25th round of 2011 draft; signed Aug. 2, 2011.
A converted shortstop, Devenski transferred from Golden West (Calif.) JC to Cal State Fullerton for the 2011 season. He made 15 appearances for the Titans as a senior, striking out 26 in 21 2/3 innings and earning a 25th-round flier by the White Sox. Devenski doesn’t have an overwhelming pitch, but for a converted player he has remarkable control and shape to his pitches. He sits 88-91 mph with a fair slider/changeup offspeed mix that makes him solid organizational depth or possibly a deep middle-relief sleeper.
|White Sox Acquire|
|Brett Myers, rhp
Age: 31. Throws: R. Remaining Commitment: Under contract for $10 million this season, then vesting option for $10 million if he finishes 45 games or $3 million buyout if he doesn’t. (Astros sent $3.45 million in deal.)
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.