MLB hot stove: Rangers sign Jordan Lyles to further boost rotation, per reports

For the second time this offseason, the Texas Rangers have added a free-agent starting pitcher. Previously, the Rangers signed Kyle Gibson to a three-year pact. On Friday, the Rangers reportedly agreed to terms with right-hander Jordan Lyles, per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. Lyles will ink a two-year deal worth $16 million, per ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Entering the winter, we ranked Lyles No. 48 on our top-50 free agents list. Here's what we said of him:

Lyles has shown more promise over the last two seasons than his career numbers indicate. To wit, he finished the season with 11 strong starts for the Brewers, during which he compiled an ERA+ of 182 and a 2.55 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His best pitches are his low-90s fastball and curveball, but one development to watch for heading forward is his changeup: he used it nearly a quarter of the time in September, nearly setting a new personal usage record for a single month during the Statcast era. He's best served as a back-end starter, but may end up in the bullpen again.

It's worth noting that Gibson was ranked No. 28 on our free-agent top-50, meaning the Rangers have added two quality pieces to a rotation that could use the help. For as good as Lance Lynn and Mike Minor were last season, Texas nonetheless ranked 25th in starters ERA. With Gibson and Lyles in tow, the Rangers have a chance to take a big leap forward in 2020. 

The Rangers are opening a new ballpark next season and figure to remain aggressive on the free-agent and trade markets all the way until spring. The Rangers have been connected to third baseman Anthony Rendon (our top free agent), and may well pursue help behind the plate and over at first base.

The Rangers finished third in the American League West last season with a 78-84 record—some 19 games worse than the Oakland Athletics, and 29 games behind the division-winning Houston Astros.  

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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