The Angels have agreed to a minor league deal with veteran reliever Brandon Lyon, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports (on Twitter). The 34-year-old right-hander receives an invitation to Major League Spring Training and will compete for a slot in manager Mike Scioscia's bullpen. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that Lyon, a client of Meister Sports Management, will earn a $1MM base salary if he makes the club.
Lyon spent most of the 2013 campaign in the Mets organization, posting a 4.98 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and a 38.7 percent ground-ball rate. He was released in July and briefly caught on with the Red Sox, yielding one earned run in 5 1/3 innings for their Triple-A affiliate before requesting his release.
Though Lyon had a tough 2013, he's one year removed from an excellent 2012 campaign in which he posted a 3.10 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 61 innings for the Astros and Blue Jays. ERA estimators such as FIP (3.23), xFIP (3.94) and SIERA (3.20) all back up his dominance from that season. While he's young enough to hope for a rebound, it's certainly troubling that his average fastball velocity dropped from 90.7 mph in 2012 all the way to 87.8 mph in 2013.