As per Joel Sherman, the Pittsburgh Pirates are close to signing RHP Jordan Lyles.
UPDATE: The signing now appears to be official
#Pirates in agreement with free-agent RHP Jordan Lyles, pending medical review, sources tell The Athletic.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) December 11, 2018
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been active today, and the club is not done yet.
Hear Jordan Lyle is close to signing with the #Pirates, who just traded Nova.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 11, 2018
Here is a quick look at Lyle’s career to date:
In his most recent campaign, Lyles stuck out 22.6 percent of his batters faced while walking 7.6 percent. He ended up with a 4.09 FIP/0.6 fWAR for his efforts
Lyles has been a swingman the last three seasons but has found more success as a reliever. In 40.2 innings out of the bullpen in 2018, he had a 3.32 ERA, 3.11 FIP and 9.7 K/9. Over 18 starts the last three seasons, he has a 6.80 ERA, 5.06 FIP and 7.4 K/9.
Lyles’ best pitch is his fastball, particularly his two-seamer. Last year, 172 pitchers had at least 25 at-bats end with a two-seam fastball, per Baseball Savant. Lyles’ .189 slugging percentage allowed on the pitch was the lowest out of those 172.
His curveball was greatly improved in 2018, going from a .323 wOBA allowed on the pitch to a .252. Interestingly, the improvement came with a drop in his whiff rate (15.4% to 14.6%) and his spin rate (2,445 RPM average to 2,300 RPM).
Lyles also has a slider and a changeup in his repertoire, but he might be better off dropping the latter. His .366 wOBA allowed on the pitch was among the highest in baseball last season. Regardless of if he’s a starter or reliever, he likely won’t need a fourth pitch.
Terms of the deal have not been released yet.