DETROIT — The Chicago White Sox acquired Houston reliever Brett Myers on Saturday for two minor league pitchers and a player to be named.
Myers had 19 saves and a 3.52 ERA for the Astros this season and will try to bolster an inexperienced Chicago bullpen. Addison Reed, Chicago’s 23-year-old closer, has 15 saves but a 4.24 ERA. Rookie Nate Jones has a 3.57 ERA in 35 appearances.
White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said Myers would not be Chicago’s closer.
“In no way, for (manager Robin Ventura) or myself or in any way, is this a lack of confidence in Addison Reed,” Williams said.
The White Sox entered Saturday’s game at Detroit with a half-game lead on the Tigers atop the AL Central.
“It’s time to make a push,” Williams said. “He’s an intense competitor. He makes our bullpen better.”
The Astros are in last place in the NL Central and had little need to keep Myers, a 31-year-old right-hander. Houston receives right-hander Matt Heidenreich and left-hander Blair Walters. Chicago also receives cash considerations from Houston in the deal.
Myers signed with the Astros as a free agent in January 2010 and made 33 starts in each of the last two seasons. He’s been used exclusively in relief this year, and Chicago plans to put him in the bullpen too.
“He’s got a nice mix of pitches that he can go to as a former starter,” Williams said. “I think he can do whatever role Robin decides to use him.”
Chicago also activated right-hander Jesse Crain from the disabled list Saturday, giving Ventura another option out of the bullpen. Along with Reed and Jones, the White Sox have relied on 24-year-old left-hander Hector Santiago, who has a 4.15 ERA in 29 appearances this year.
The 21-year-old Heidenreich was an 11th-round pick in the 2009 draft. The 6-foot-5 right-hander is 9-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 18 starts this season with Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham.
The 22-year-old Walters is 4-6 with a 3.96 ERA in 18 starts this year with Class A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem. He was picked in the 11th round of last year’s draft.