Pittsburgh Pirates News: Team To Sign Jordan Lyles


The Pittsburgh Pirates have made their second move today, adding a veteran right-handed reliever in Jordan Lyles.

Earlier today, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded away Ivan Nova to the White Sox.  With one year left at $9.167 million with a projected 1.5 season, Nova falls somewhere in the rank of being worth $2.833 million ($8 million/win) and $3.583 million ($8.5 million/win).  That’s little value, and the Pirates didn’t receive much in return.

The club saved money in this deal and opened up an additional roster spot, one which they’ve just filled.  According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the club is set to sign Jordan Lyles:

Last season, Lyles tossed a 4.11 ERA and 4.09 FIP between the San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers, while serving in a relief and spot starter role.  The now 28-year-old has 113 games (eight starts) over the last three years, and will likely serve in a similar role this upcoming season as the Pirates look to push Richard Rodriguez up in more high leverage roles with Edgar Santana being out for the year.

Lyles last season tossed a career best 22.6 percent strikeout rate with a 10.3 percent swinging strike rate.  These came with an increase in the changeup and curveball, and after spending 2014-parts of 2017 in Colorado, Lyles might be gaining a feel for this pitch.

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For 2018, the right-hander is projected at a 4.20 ERA and 4.15 FIP.  If his role is a low leverage relief pitcher who can occasionally start, there’s some value in this signing (depending on the dollars).  If it’s a replacement for Ivan Nova and a wait and see game for when Mitch Keller arrives, then the Pirates are back in the same spot with Ryan Vogelsong, and this would come a day after Neal Huntington said:

"“I don’t think there’s a move that we’ve made that I haven’t looked at and said, what could we have done a little bit better, or unfortunately in some situations, what could we have done a lot better?”"

The Pirates still need to look for an actual fifth starter – their current internal options appear to be Nick Kingham, Clay Holmes, and now Lyles, none that seems to appeasing – a left-handed reliever, and a shortstop.  The team is still listening on their catcher Francisco Cervelli, and on day two of the Winter Meetings, the Pirates just made their second move.