Royals announce signing of veteran pitcher Jordan Lyles, DFA Ryan O’Hearn

FILE - Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jordan Lyles throws during the second inning of a...
FILE - Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jordan Lyles throws during the second inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Baltimore. The Kansas City Royals and well-traveled right-hander Jordan Lyles have agreed to a $17 million, two-year contract, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams, File)(Terrance Williams | AP)
Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 10:58 AM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The Kansas City Royals signed right-handed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a two-year deal. The 32-year-old is a 12-year Major League veteran who has pitched for seven different teams, most recently Baltimore in 2022.

With the Orioles, Lyles set career highs in wins (12, tied) and starts (32), and he recorded 179.0 innings, which fell just shy of his career high (180.0) set in 2021. Lyles’ 32 starts in 2022 tied for the 3rd most in the American League, and his 359.0 innings pitched over the last two seasons are the 5th most in the American League.

After going 4-7 in 15 starts through the first three months of last season, Lyles went 8-4 with a 3.95 ERA (41 ER in 93.1 IP) in 17 starts from July 1 through season’s end. His 8 wins over the final three months were the 5th most in the AL during that time. Lyles induced a career-high-tying 18 groundball double plays in 2022,  5th most in the American League.

Lyles was a 1st-round pick by Houston in the 2008 Draft out of Hartsville High School in South Carolina and made his Major League debut less than three years later at the age of 20. Since the 2019 season, 99 of his 104 appearances (95.2%) have been in a starting role.

On Wednesday, Royals President of Baseball Operations J.J. Picollo said he expects Lyles and incoming left-handed pitcher Ryan Yarborough to pitch near 300 innings for Kansas City in 2023, with the goal of adding depth to the pitching staff and competition amongst the young pitchers fighting for a spot in the rotation.

Lyles said he looks forward to pitching to an All-Star, Gold Glove catcher like Salvador Perez who he’s admired from afar for the past decade. He also credited a spacious Kauffman Stadium and quality of people in the organization as some of the top reasons for wanting to sign a 2-year deal in Kansas City.

Lyles joins a rotation headlined by Brady Singer, with the likes of Yarborough, Daniel Lynch, Kris Bubic, Jonathan Heasley, Jackson Kowar, Carlos Hernandez and Brad Keller competing for the final spots. Kansas City’s first spring training game with new Manager Matt Quatraro arrives on Feb. 24.

To make room for Lyles, the Royals designated first baseman Ryan O’Hearn for assignment a month after he signed a one-year, $1.4 million deal.