Angels To Sign Brandon Lyon

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.


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40 Comments on "Angels To Sign Brandon Lyon"


richardsteeleMD
1 year 6 months ago

10 years $350M

Quikmix
1 year 6 months ago

he’s not old enough for that kind of contract

Bromacho
1 year 6 months ago

You people are killing it

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 6 months ago

Almost no risk involved and LAA’s pen needs as much help as it can get so good signing all in all.

bjsguess
1 year 6 months ago

Why the down votes for whokilledtherallymonkey? Totally reasonable comment.

Bromacho
1 year 6 months ago

Rangers fans

Evan
1 year 6 months ago

Dipoto got his pitcher, way to go buddy, proud of you.

The fact that Paul Maholm signed for a little more than this is embarrassing though. At least you aren’t trying to make sense anymore. Just go full crazy, maybe it will work.

liberalconservative
1 year 6 months ago

Makes no sense why they didn’t going for Maholm instead. The guy can pitch but was miss used by the pirates. He might not be a great starter but can keep a team in the game. Maholm was a bargain at 1.5 and pitcher with half his talent getting that to be a reliever.

Evan
1 year 6 months ago

Again, feels like we are missing something as fans. I wish Dipoto would come out and explain everything. there has got to be a reason we didn’t get Maholm. It just seems fishy.

1 year 6 months ago

You didn’t get Maholm because he signed with the Dodgers.

Evan
1 year 6 months ago

Ah thank you. i could have swore he switched sports and was playing criquet somewhere.

1 year 6 months ago

You didn’t get Maholm because he signed with the Dodgers.

King Kyle
1 year 6 months ago

Maybe he preferred to pitch for the Dodgers. It’s not like it always comes down to whether or not your favorite team chose to sign a guy. It goes both ways, maybe he didn’t want to sign with the Angels, or they weren’t his preferred landing spot.

Evan
1 year 6 months ago

it sounds like we didn’t even put our toe in the water, which is crazy. If Maholm chose a different team that’s fine, but it doesn’t sound like that’s what happened.

RyanWKrol
1 year 6 months ago

Sounds to me like you need more information.

Urbano Lugo
1 year 6 months ago

The reason is Dipoto is not good ( not a successful history) at recognizing and signing low risk/high reward players.

RyanWKrol
1 year 6 months ago

I’m sorry but that’s ridiculous. Low risk/high reward players are always a crapshoot.

bjsguess
1 year 6 months ago

What is embarrassing is the lack of reading comprehension.

Lyon is guaranteed nothing. Maholm is guaranteed $1.5M.

If Lyon makes the club and contributes in a meaningful way he can earn $1M. Maholm can earn up to $6.5M if he hits his goals.

So … if both players bomb the Angels pay nothing and the Dodgers pay $1.5M. If both players do well the Angels pay $1M and the Dodgers pay $6.5M.

Lyon has posted ERA’s of 2.86 / 3.12 / 3.10 over the past few years. 2011 was a lost year due to injury and he had a disappointing 34 innings in the 2013 campaign. However, 34 bad innings in the last 5 is hardly anything worth writing a guy off forever.

Meanwhile, people are going sideways over the Angels not landing Maholm. During those same 5 years he has managed to post ERA’s of 4.44 / 5.10 / 3.66 / 3.67 / 4.41. The guy hasn’t thrown for 200 innings since 2008. I get that he’s a starter and Lyon is a reliever but are the Angels in dire need of #6/#7 starter right now? Last check they had Weaver, Wilson, Richards, Skaggs and Santiago. They already have Blanton in the swingman/spot starter role. I don’t see Maholm pushing anyone but Blanton. To add another #6/#7 type starter + the major league roster spot + $1.5M guaranteed doesn’t make the most sense. Sure, it would be nice to have him but I’m not losing sleep over him heading to across town.

Meanwhile, Lyon costs nothing. If he stinks he is cut. He doesn’t take up a roster spot. There is literally no risk, whatsoever, in signing him.

Evan
1 year 6 months ago

Th epoint is not whether there is a risk or not. We have about a billion bullpen arms and even more in the minors raring to go. what we don’t have is starting pitching. Its same with all these signings of 1st base/ DH guys. That’s great if one or 2 work out, but we can’t use them all. We need some of these low risk options for our rotation. That’s all i’m saying. That hasn’t been addressed very well. it’s like we are planning to give it to the bullpen after the 4th inning. depth is good, but we need depth EVERYWHERE and if feels like the rotation is very thin. Blanton is our 6th starter. Even at 6.5 million dollars Maholm would be cheaper than Blanton and that’s if he meets every incentive, which means he would be pitching way better than Blanton has. I get the Depth signings but it feels like we are signing all these guys instead of getting rotation depth. We need both.

bjsguess
1 year 6 months ago

I’m not seeing it that way Evan.

1. Which DH/1B signing are you referring to? We’ve TRADED away a DH/1B. We’ve acquired 2 SP’s and a 3rd baseman in trades.

2. The bullpen does NOT have a surplus of arms. We COULD have a good bullpen if things break right but there are a lot of question marks. Frieri is erratic. Jepsen is hit and miss (more miss lately). Burnett is coming off a major injury. Kohn’s just another arm. Really, Smith looks to be the only guy that I would say is really trustworthy. This bullpen last year (which is basically the same except you sub Downs for Smith) was 26th out of 30 teams in bullpen ERA.

3. Blanton is a sunk cost. You can’t do anything about the $7M the team owes him in 2014. If given the choice between Blanton and Maholm I would take the latter but that it isn’t the choice we are facing.

4. Finally, I’m not sure what minor league arms you are seeing? I’m struggling to find a reliever on ANY Angels Top 10 prospect list that is set to make an impact. Our high ceiling guys (like Alvarez) are probably at least a year away. I don’t see much in terms of reliable bullpen help sitting in Utah or Arkansas.

RyanWKrol
1 year 6 months ago

Regarding surplus of arms: Actually there is a bit of a surplus forming in the pen, the question throughout ST will be if that depth is just quantity of arms, or actual quality depth. One thing to keep in mind is that 5 of the top 7 relievers on the Angels’ bullpen depth chart had ERA’s under 4.00 in 2013. We’ll know for sure by June.

bjsguess
1 year 6 months ago

IMO – it’s almost all quantity. We have a bunch of guys that are decent 5th/6th inning options. What we lack is that shutdown combo from the 7th to 9th inning. I think Smith helps in the 7th/8th inning role. Certainly, Burnett has the stuff for that 7th/8th inning role as well. Frieri is adequate in the 9th but still far too wild to be consistent. We need the guys like Jepsen and Kohn to pitch like they are able to. If that happens the bullpen will be fine.

RyanWKrol
1 year 6 months ago

Smith and Burnett (if both are healthy) actually are a shutdown combo. Frieri has his lapses, but he’s no worse in the 9th inning at keeping runners off the bases than Percival was. Percival was actually not that dominant. His WHIPs were usually 1.20 or above. So that leaves the 5/6 innings. The roles are filled correctly, it’s just (like we said) more of a matter of guys like Jepsen and Kohn, and perhaps Lyon, pitching well.

RyanWKrol
1 year 6 months ago

They do have starting pitching.

And I can remember an Angels team from 2005 through 2007 that kept bringing up pitchers who were just as inexperienced as Santiago and Skaggs, with not a whole lot beyond their regular 5. Remember when Dustin Moseley and Chris Bootcheck (of all pitchers) were the Angels’ 6th and 7th starters? They weren’t much better than Blanton (if at all). By 2007, 3/5 of the Angels rotation had 3 years or less of experience, with 2 of them having less than 2 full seasons of experience.

Can you remember who they were? One became an ace and the other two were not much better than having a Capuano or a Richards in terms of dominance.

Young starting pitching is always a plus. If the A’s and Rangers can succeed with it, so can the Angels. And it’s not like those two teams werre putting out Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz-type rotations either.

The Angels don’t need depth everywhere, they just could use a bit more depth in their rotation, and possibly the bullpen, depending on how guys like Kohn, Jepsen, and Salas do. Starting pitching has been addressed very well. Young starting pitching is always a good acquisition.

And keep in mind that a healthy Jered Weaver (not missing 2 months), and Blanton out of the rotation adds a bunch of wins by default. And this team played like a first place team in the final 2 months of 2013 with a healthy Weaver AND with both Blanton and Hanson out of the rotation for good. The Angels team I saw in August and September is the team I’m playing off of with my analysis.

Because it should be pretty obvious by now that the Angels played well below their talent level in 2013, which is just something that happens sometimes.

And now projections like Steamer and PECOTA have the Angels right there with the A’s and Rangers.

I agree, the team could use some more SP depth, but I disagree immensely with anyone who says Dipoto has not addressed the Angels’ starting pitching. He has. He set out to get young, cost controlled starting pitching, and that’s exactly what he got. In my book, he earns back lots of brownie points for his moves this offseason.

RyanWKrol
1 year 6 months ago

There’s gonna be a few who make a mountain out of a mole hill. I’ve noticed a funny pattern where certain fans have back peddled. First on acquiring young cost controlled SP, which was the Angels’ biggest need, and now suddenly they’re not good moves. Second is fans claiming there’s nothing left on the SP free agent market, and then suddenly whining because the Angels didn’t sign Maholm. I would’ve liked him in the rotation for depth, which is exactly why the Dodgers signed him. But there’s a reason he only got 1 year and $1.5 million. I’m not gonna lose sleep over that one. Capuano is still out there. All the Angels need is additional depth. That’s it.

bjsguess
1 year 6 months ago

This is exactly what I’m seeing as well. Skaggs and Santiago are suddenly worthless. Since when did Maholm become somebody to get fired up about? Or why are people piling on a non-roster ST invitee deal? Makes no sense.

And I agree about Capuano – would prefer him over Maholm.

There is no doubt that the Angels need depth – virtually everywhere. However, there are real issues about how best to allocate very limited resources.

fortunes4
1 year 6 months ago

It isn’t that having young cost controlled SP is bad….but I am not sold on them being the answer at this point. Young cost controlled = untested at ML level. Not saying Maholm was the answer (I actually think they blew it by not going after Arroyo) but these young cost controlled SP maybe need another year or 2 in AAA with occasional call-up spot starts at ML level.

AlphaICaesar
1 year 6 months ago

Salt Lake has had a huge offseason.

Evan
1 year 6 months ago

AAA Yankees, buying championships.

Urbano Lugo
1 year 6 months ago

Dipoto signs another loser he knows from his days in Arizona. Him and Towers, two of the worst and most illogical GMs in the game today. Great job!

RyanWKrol
1 year 6 months ago

And Dipoto is one of the worst based on what? He’s accomplished just about every goal he’s set out for this offseason. The Angels are one of the most active teams (possibly the most active in terms of actual transactions) this offseason. Every team signs players to minor league contracts like this because it’s low risk with the potential for high reward. Criticizing a minor league signing is what is illogical actually.

Dbacksfan44
1 year 6 months ago

Its a minor league deal. There is nothing wrong with it

Dbacksfan44
1 year 6 months ago

Its a minor league deal. There is nothing wrong with it

1 year 6 months ago

Why?

RyanWKrol
1 year 6 months ago

Why not?

1 year 6 months ago

Okay—I can play that game too. So tell me, why not? What is so promising about a 34-year old right-hander, signed to a minor league contract, that’s gonna make a difference on the major league team that another younger right-hander, say—27-Year old Suk-Min Yoon, won’t bring? I’d love to hear your logic RyanWKrol.

Lord of the Fries
1 year 6 months ago

Lyon disappointed me last season, I really liked the signing for the Mets. He certainly had bad luck (his FIP was passable and his BABIP was extremely high) but he didn’t help the bullpen out much.

RyanWKrol
1 year 6 months ago

The list is getting longer…

Brennan Boesch
Anderson de la Rosa
Wade LeBlanc
Brandon Lyon
John McDonald
Mark Mulder
Carlos Pena
Ian Stewart
Justin Thomas
Yorvit Torrealba
Chad Tracy
Chris Volstad (off to Korea)

Quikmix
1 year 6 months ago

I guess the theory would be that if you’ve emaciated your minor league system through trades in recent years, you’re going to have to sign a bunch of folks to fill those holes until your youngest players can mature through the ranks over the next year or two?