Pirates finalize deal with pitcher
PITTSBURGH — Pitcher Jordan Lyles and the Pittsburgh Pirates have finalized a $2.05 million, one-year contract.
The 28-year-old right-hander can earn additional award bonuses as part of the deal, agreed to last week and announced Monday.
Lyles is 31-52 with a 5.28 ERA in 217 appearances for Houston, Colorado, San Diego and Milwaukee. Though Lyles has worked primarily as a reliever since 2016, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Lyles will have an opportunity to earn a spot in the starting rotation during spring training.
Lyles is coming off his best season, going 3-4 with a 4.11 ERA in 35 games with San Diego and Milwaukee, and his 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings tied his career best. He was more effective out of the bullpen (1-0, 3.32 ERA) than he was as a starter (2-4, 4.79) and seemed to hit his stride with the Brewers. Lyles was 1-0 with a 3.31 ERA 11 appearances, striking out 22 batters in 16-plus innings.
n Jeurys Familia would rather be a setup man for the New York Mets than close for another team. Familia had 123 saves for the Mets, who traded him to Oakland last July. He instructed agents Sam and Seth Levinson to pursue any possibility to return to the Mets.
New York recently acquired 2018 big league saves leader Edwin Diaz from Seattle along with All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano. He was 8-6 with 18 saves in 24 chances and a 3.13 ERA for the Mets and A’s last season.
n The New York Yankees gave pitcher CC Sabathia a $500,000 performance bonus, even though the 38-year-old left-hander was ejected from his final regular-season start six outs shy of the 155 innings specified in his contract for the payment. Sabathia hit Tampa Bay’s Jesus Sucre starting the sixth inning on Sept. 27 with his 55th pitch of the night, retaliation for Andrew Kittredge throwing a pitch behind Austin Romine in the top half.
n A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press the Houston Astros have agreed to a two-year deal with free agent outfielder Michael Brantley. The 31-year-old Brantley has spent his entire 10-year career with the Cleveland Indians, where he was a three-time All-Star. Brantley is a career .295 hitter and gives Houston an upgrade to an outfield anchored by center fielder George Springer. He hit .309 with 17 homers, 36 doubles and 76 RBIs last season in 143 games, with 134 starts in left field.