The Royals are close to signing right-handed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a two-year contract, according to MLB.com reporter Mark Feinsand. No terms have been reported and the Royals have not confirmed. The 32-year-old had a 4.42 ERA in 179 innings for Baltimore with 7.2 strikeouts-per-nine-innings.
Lyles has been a journeyman, pitching for the Astros, Rockies, Padres, Brewers, Pirates, Brewers again, Rangers, and Orioles. In 12 seasons he has pitched in 321 games, 214 of them starts, with a career ERA of 5.10. He won a career-high 12 games in Baltimore last year, but it was just the third time he has exceeded 1 fWAR in a season, and he has never had a 2 WAR season.
Lyles has a deep arsenal with a fastball that sits at 92 mph to go with a slider, sinker, change up, and cutter. He can be home run-prone - he allowed a league-high 38 home runs with the Rangers in 2021. Last year he benefitted from the pushed-back fences at Camden Yards - just 6 of his 26 home runs allowed came at home.
He can eat some innings - only 14 pitchers have thrown more innings over the past two seasons. His walk rate was slightly better than average for a starter last year, although he has been worse than league average in the past.
Lyles should be part of a rotation that includes Brady Singer and Daniel Lynch, and could include Ryan Yarbrough, Brad Keller, or Kris Bubic. The Royals had expressed interest in bringing back veteran Zach Greinke, but recent reports indicated that an escalating free agent market for starting pitchers had caused negotiations to hit a snag.
Tuesday update: The deal would be for two years and $17 million.
Jordan Lyles’ deal with the Royals is two years and $17 million, per source.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 20, 2022