The Kansas City Royals have been one of the least active teams in Major League Baseball this offseason in terms of talent acquisitions, but they’re reportedly on the verge of adding depth to their pitching rotation.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Royals are closing in on a two-year deal with veteran starting pitch Jordan Lyles worth $17 million. That’s an average annual value of $8.5 million through the 2024 season.
Feinsand initially reported the interest between the Royals and Lyles on Monday.
The 32-year-old Lyles has played for seven teams in his Major League career, most recently including a one-year stint with the Baltimore Orioles this past season. In 32 starts and 179 innings for the Orioles, Lyles went 12-11 with a 4.42 ERA, striking out 7.2 batters and walking 2.6 per nine innings.
His career ERA sits at 5.10, though his single-season best came in 2018, when he posted a 4.11 in 35 starts between the San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers. Arguably his biggest asset has been his durability, pitching 169 innings per 162 games during his career.
After starting his career with the Houston Astros from 2011-2013, the right-hander spent parts of the next four seasons with the Colorado Rockies. Along with those clubs, the Padres, Brewers and Orioles, he’s also pitched for the Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates.
This is the second Major League free-agent signing by the Royals this winter, with the club adding Ryan Yarbrough, formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays, last week.
Lyles and Yarbrough will likely contend for starting jobs in Kansas City’s rotation, which returns most of its production from a year ago.
Brady Singer was the Royals’ best starter a season ago, posting a 10-5 record and a 3.23 ERA in 153.1 innings pitched. Other potential members of the rotation returning from 2022 include Daniel Lynch, Kris Bubic and Jonathan Heasley, among others.
Last year’s biggest Royals pitching acquisition, Zack Greinke, remains unsigned this year after recording a 4-9 record and a 3.68 ERA, the latter of which was the second-best mark for a full-time Kansas City starter.