HOUSTON -- It's not surprising when you consider the Astros' place in the National League Central Division standings that they're in position to be sellers at the Trade Deadline. Just how much they can get in return -- and whether that's worthy of them making a deal -- remains to be seen.
Astros general manager Ed Wade, who last year engineered blockbuster trades at the deadline that sent Lance Berkman to the Yankees and Roy Oswalt to the Phillies, said he plans to be open-minded when it comes to making any potential trades this year.
"We are trending towards a younger club and trying to get to the point where we can sustain success for an extended period of time," Wade said. "At the end of the day, nothing much might happen. It takes two teams to make a deal, and it takes reasonable opportunity to bring stuff to the finish line. It behooves us to pay attention to whatever opportunities present themselves."
Despite spending the entire season in last place, the Astros have some players, especially pitchers, who could bring some interest from other clubs.
Wade, as a policy, doesn't discuss trades, except in general terms.
"I think, at this point, the best way I can say it is we're going to be good listeners," he said. "At the end of the day, we can listen to anything that gets discussed and we can also say no. I think to just out-of-hand dismiss any possibility of anything happening would be shortsighted on our part.
"Nobody should read between the lines what that means, other than I answer my own phone. If a general manager from another club calls me and wants to talk to me about something, I know I always have the opportunity to say no."
The southpaw Rodriguez is 6-6 with a 3.52 ERA in 16 starts. He signed a contract extension prior to this season and is making $7 million this year. He is scheduled to make $10 million in 2012 and $13 million in '13, with a $13 million vesting or club option for '14 and a $2.5 million buyout.
Myers, the team's Pitcher of the Year last season, is making $7 million this year, will make $11 million next season and has a $10 million option for 2013 that comes with a $3 million buyout. He is 3-9 with a 4.88 ERA in 19 games.
The two players who could bring the biggest return to help bolster an Astros farm system that is still short of talent at the upper levels are outfielders Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence, a pair of former team Most Valuable Players who are having good seasons. Both are still arbitration-eligible, but their salaries -- $4.4 million for Bourn, $6.9 million for Pence -- will continue to skyrocket.
The only players who appear to be untouchable are young and inexpensive pitchers Bud Norris, Jordan Lyles and Mark Melancon. Wade won't say if any players are untouchable.
"If you start saying somebody's untouchable, that means that you're going to be close-minded to something that might be astounding," he said. "At the end of the day, we know how to value our players properly."
With the transfer of ownership of the club to a group led by Jim Crane from Drayton McLane not likely to be finalized until late July or early August, Wade said he plans to confer with both men before making any potential deals.
"I recognize that," he said. "Each has an opportunity to talk directly to me, and they have an opportunity to talk to each other and make sure what's being done is being done in the best interest of the franchise and the fans."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.