TODAY: Lyles will earn $2.05MM in 2019, as per Heyman (Twitter link).
11:57pm: Lyles’ deal is a one-year pact worth upward of $2MM, Robert Murray of The Athletic tweets.
1:45pm: The Pirates are reportedly in agreement on a deal with right-hander Jordan Lyles. Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter) reported that the sides were close, with Jon Heyman of Fancred tweeting that a deal was in place pending a physical. Terms are not yet known.
This move seems to represent a bid to backfill the Bucs’ pitching depth after trading Ivan Nova in a just-announced deal with the White Sox. Lyles likely won’t be promised a rotation spot in Pittsburgh, but he could compete for one in camp and will at least function as a long relief or swingman option. With Pirates GM Neal Huntington saying that the organization is dabbling with the idea of an opener, Lyles could be a particularly interesting fit for the roster.
Lyles turned in a somewhat interesting 2018 season, though his broader track record isn’t all that impressive. The 28-year-old posted a personal-high 10.3% swinging-strike rate on the year, with a modified pitch mix seemingly help to boost that aspect of his game.
That’s not to say the results were universally positive; Lyles didn’t quite turn the corner in an eight-game run as a starter with the Padres. But he was rather effective in a relief role, with a 3.32 ERA over 40 2/3 total innings in 28 appearances. Some kind of multi-inning role other than that of a traditional starter could maximize Lyles’s skillset.