Lyons divided 2019 between the Pirates and Yankees, but New York outrighted him off its 40-man roster in November. Before that, Lyons – whom the Yankees signed in August – saw a bit of action at the major and minor league levels as a member of the organization. He finished the year with a combined 12 2/3 innings for Pittsburgh and New York. Although Lyons struck out 17 batters during that span, that was overshadowed by the nine earned runs he yielded on 13 hits and five walks. He was far superior in Triple-A ball, throwing 50 1/3 frames of 3.22 ERA ball with 10.7 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9.
At his best, the soft-tossing Lyons was outstanding for the Cardinals in 2017 – a 54-inning effort in which he registered a 2.83 ERA/2.86 FIP and struck out more than 11 hitters per nine. Lyons failed to revisit that form in the majors over the previous two years, but he’ll nonetheless try to work his way back to MLB as a member of a Yankees team whose bullpen includes two established southpaws in Aroldis Chapman and Zack Britton. The Yankees subtracted some lefty depth when they traded Stephen Tarpley to the Marlins on Jan. 15, but they’ve signed Lyons and Luis Avilan as reinforcements since then.