The Houston Astros shipped closer Brett Myers and cash considerations to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday for right-handed pitcher Matt Heidenreich, left-handed pitcher Blair Walters and a player to be named later.
Houston continues to stock up its farm system by acquiring the two minor league hurlers. The Astros also picked up four minor leaguers as part of a 10-player deal with Toronto on Friday that included getting reliever Francisco Cordero, who has plenty of major league experience as a closer.
Myers told MLB.com that he was excited about being traded to a contender. Houston is in last place in the NL Central while Chicago narrowly led the AL Central when play began Saturday.
"They're in first place," he said. "I'm pumped about that and to play for a team that's fighting for a championship. That's why I play the game, to win championships."
Myers has 19 saves for the Astros this season, the last of his contract. He has a $10 million option for 2013 that vests if he finishes at least 45 games this year. He needs 16 more games to earn the option or else he gets a $3 million buyout.
Houston is expected to pay most of the remainder of Myers' $11 million contract for this year.
Myers was converted from a starter to a reliever before this season. He did close for Philadelphia in 2007.
"I was happy they gave me an opportunity to re-establish myself as a starter, and this year they needed a closer," Myers said. "They had a couple of guys to pick from and they asked me to do it and I was happy to do it. I had a good time there. It was good for my family and everything and it was a good place to play. I guess it just didn't work out in the end for us."
The 31-year-old signed a one-year contract with Houston for the 2010 season and went 14-8 with a 3.14 ERA in 33 starts. That got him an extension. He was 7-14 with a 4.46 ERA last year.
"Brett showed that he was a real team player by going to the bullpen for us and was very successful as our closer," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "We appreciate everything he has done for us."
Heidenreich was 9-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 18 combined starts at Class A Winston-Salem and Class AA Birmingham. He will be assigned to Class AA Corpus Christi.
Walters was 4-6 with a 3.96 ERA in 18 combined starts with Class A Kannapolis and Class A Winston-Salem. He will be assigned to Class A Lancaster.
The Astros also claimed right-hander Mark Hamburger off waivers from the San Diego Padres. Hamburger will pitch at Class AAA Oklahoma City. He was 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in relief for the Texas Rangers last year.