After he wore his Phillies jersey for perhaps the final time, free-agent-to-be Brett Myers said it would be “upsetting” if the team decides against bringing him back for 2010.
“I’m going to give this team the first opportunity to have the say, if they need me or don’t need me,” Myers said following the Phillies’ 7-3, season-ending loss to the Yankees in Game 6 of the World Series.
“Is it going to be upsetting if they don’t need me? Yeah. It will be. But they sometimes need to move on and make other decisions and get other guys. There’s nothing I can do about that, besides just do what’s best for me and my family.”
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Myers, 29, said he is willing to be a starter or reliever. But he also acknowledged that it was “more fun” to be in the 2008 playoff rotation than work out of the bullpen in this year’s postseason.
Myers would probably get more money if a team wants him to pitch in its rotation, given the shortage of free-agent starters available this off-season.
The right-hander has never pitched for another professional organization. But that may change soon, with the filing period for free agents set to begin today.
“This has been my family for 11 years, since I’ve been drafted,” Myers said. “It’s always hard to part with family. But at the same time, you’ve got to roll with the punches, see what happens, see what’s best for your family.
“If this is a good fit, and they need me, I’m ready to roll.”
The Phillies’ roster probably won’t change much between now and Opening Day 2010. Manager Charlie Manuel used the same starting position players in every postseason game played under National League rules, and it’s possible that all of them will return. (The team holds a $5 million option on third baseman Pedro Feliz.)
And while Myers and Pedro Martinez are free agents, the Phillies (technically) have five starters coming back: Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ and Jamie Moyer.
When asked how many changes he figured the Phillies would make, Myers said, “Not many at all. There’s not one thing I can think of that would need to change.”
Myers has won 73 games in the majors since his 2002 debut, but an injury-plagued 2009 season won’t help his value on the open market. He last started in the majors on May 27. Then he missed three months with a torn labrum in his right hip that required surgery.
Myers went 4-3 with a 4.66 ERA in 10 starts before the injury. Then he opted to “rush back,” as he termed it on Wednesday, in order to rejoin the team as a reliever.
He went on to make 10 relief appearances, including the postseason. He also missed time in September with a strained muscle in his back.
Myers has spent most of his career as a starter but saved 21 games in 2007. He doesn’t believe one role would be easier on his body than the other. When asked which he would prefer, he replied, “It doesn’t matter to me. I can do both. I prefer both, actually.”
Myers said he would like to hear from Phillies management soon about his status.
“Hopefully the front office can make a decision rather quickly, if they need me or if they don’t need me,” he said. “There’s a lot of great players on this team. I’d like to contribute anyplace I go.”