DETROIT -- Hours before falling out of first place, the Chicago White Sox added a veteran to their young bullpen.
The White Sox acquired Houston reliever Brett Myers on Saturday for two minor league pitchers and a player to be named.
The 31-year-old Myers had 19 saves and a 3.52 ERA for the Astros this season. Chicago general manager Kenny Williams says Myers will pitch in relief for the White Sox but not as the closer. That job has been filled by 23-year-old Addison Reed, who has 15 saves but a 4.24 ERA.
"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 then went out and lost 7-1 on Saturday at Detroit, falling a half-game behind the Tigers atop the AL Central. They were set to send right-hander Dylan Axelrod down to the minors, making room for Myers.
"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. 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 past two seasons. The right-hander has 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."
In Phoenix, Astros manager Brad Mills said right-hander Francisco Cordero would replace Myers as closer. Cordero was acquired Friday in a 10-player trade with Toronto. He was 3-5 with two saves and a 5.77 ERA in 41 relief appearances with the Blue Jays this season.
The Astros assigned Heidenreich to Double-A Corpus Christi and Walters to Class A Lancaster.
Myers' roster spot in Houston was taken by left-hander Dallas Keuchel, who was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City to start Saturday night's game in Arizona. J.A. Happ, who had been scheduled for that start, was part of the Toronto deal.
Chicago also activated right-hander Jesse Crain from the disabled list Saturday, giving Ventura another option out of the bullpen. Along with Reed, the White Sox have relied on rookie Nate Jones, who has a 3.57 ERA in 35 appearances this year, and 24-year-old left-hander Hector Santiago, who has a 4.15 ERA in 29 appearances.
"We've asked a lot of young guys (in the bullpen) and they've done great," White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said. "Any time you add a veteran to a bullpen, it's a good thing, even if the guys in the bullpen had been pitching well."
The 21-year-old Heidenreich was a 2009 draft pick. The 6-foot-5 right-hander went 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 went 4-6 with a 3.96 ERA in 18 starts this year with Class A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem. He was picked in last year's draft.