Pittsburgh Pirates: An Update on the Jordan Lyles Signing
The Pittsburgh Pirates made multiple moves yesterday which included a couple of pitchers. Here is an update on the free agent they signed.
The Pittsburgh Pirates were one of the more active teams yesterday at the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. The team actually traded away one of their starting pitchers and quickly signed another pitcher to a contract.
The day started off with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago White Sox swinging a trade. The Bucs sent their number starter Ivan Nova to the Chicago White Sox. Coming back in the trade was $500,000 in International Bonus Slot Money and a 19-year-old pitching prospect by the name of Yordi Rosario. By making the move, the Pittsburgh Pirates were able to unload $9.1 million off their books. The trade itself was a salary dump, but the team quickly turned around and reinvested some of that money.
Not even an hour after the Pittsburgh Pirates traded Nova, it was reported by Joel Sherman that they had an agreement in place with pitcher Jordan Lyles. Jon Heyman of FanCred confirmed that the deal was in place and the team was just waiting for Lyle’s to pass his physical. However, that was the only details Pittsburgh Pirates fans were given until late last night.
Late last night, Robert Murray of The Athletic brought the more important details of the Pittsburgh Pirates signing. First, he tweeted that the team would be paying Lyles just over $2 million. Heyman later confirmed that Lyles would be getting $2.05 million for the 2019 season. Robert Murray also released how the Pittsburgh Pirates plan to use Jordan Lyles next season:
"“An additional nugget: Word is, Pittsburgh will give Lyles a chance to start.”"
This would be surprising. Lyles was once a top prospect, but that was over eight years ago at this point. He has bounced around to multiple major league teams and spent 2018 with the San Diego Padres and was later traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. Lyles has not been very effective as a major league starter in his career, throwing over 600 innings as a starter and posting a 5.28 ERA.
Last year, he had one of his better seasons. He made 24 appearances for the Padres last year, including eight starts and posted a 4.29 ERA before being dealt to the Brewers. The Brewers used him strictly as a long reliever and he pitched to 3.31 ERA in 16.1 innings. All in all, Lyles’ ERA as a starter last year was 4.79 while his relief ERA was 3.32.
The key piece here is that he will be “given the chance to start.” Hopefully, this means he will be given a shot in Spring Training to throw extended innings and just build up his innings to be able to pitch as a swingman out of the bullpen. Also, he most definitely could be used as a spot starter or for depth if an arm goes on the disabled list. Regardless, the Pittsburgh Pirates should still look to bring in a better starting pitching this offseason.