The Texas Rangers have signed RHP Jordan Lyles.
Lyles was drafted by Houston in 2008 in the compensation round at pick number 38.

He made his major league debut in 2011 with the Astros. Lyles has had his ups and downs as a starter over the years. However, in 2019 he had a very good second half with the Milwaukee Brewers after being traded from the Pirates.

What does the signing of Lyles mean for the Rangers? There are a few possible answers.

  1. The rumors about the Rangers being all-in on Rendon are true. If the Rangers were going to put their best foot forward they needed to make a legit offer for Rendon. Rendon may be from Texas, but he will not sign here is the money isn’t even in the range of another offer.  Especially with Scott Boras as his agent. This will free up some money to make a run.
  2. The Rangers have improved their rotation tremendously. Last year the rotation ERA was 7.29 when Minor or Lynn wasn’t on the mound. The Rangers have signed two guys with experience and better ERAs than that. Gibson has a career ERA of  4.52 a Lyles has a career 5.11 ERA. However, Lyles showed major improvement in the second half of last year when traded to the Brewers. He finished the year with a 2.45 ERA and a 7-1 record. Even if their ERAs are close to their MLB career numbers it is a huge upgrade from the Tommy John Trio of Shelby Miller, Edison Volquez, and Drew Smyly. Now the Rangers have four legit starters and three young guys who are legit in a legit competition for the 5th spot. As of now, the rotation is Minor, Lynn, Gibson, Lyles and (Allard, Burke or Palumbo). Look for all three to be in the big leagues at some point.
  3. The Rangers could be looking to extend Minor. With cheaper options filling out the rotation, the Rangers might now have some money to approach Minor about staying longer. Minor has earned a pay bump. He might be open to a 3 or 4-year extension at $15 to $20 million a year. He seems to like Texas and he is well-liked by the organization. I could see Texas getting a deal done for 4 years $75 million with an option for a 5th.
  4. This could also be a sign that the Rangers have moved on from Minor. Maybe they see a chance to add Ryu, Keuchel or Bumgarner for a reasonable price and can now trade Minor who has only one year left on his deal. If Minor isn’t extended he will most likely be traded if the Rangers are not in the race come to the trade deadline. However, his value is much higher in the winter. Any team who misses out on Cole, Strausburg or Wheeler may trade some legit prospects for Minor and the chance sign him to a long term deal.

The Rangers are proving that they are serious about this offseason. They want to improve the club now and not next year. Their moves have been under the radar and free them up for other things. There are a lot of teams right now who had Lyles and Gibson as targets for their own rotations. It also puts pressure on teams who have the top free-agent starters on their wish list. Most assumed they could fall back on Gibson and Lyles if they lost out on the premier names.

The Winter Meetings could be a fun one to watch. Last year hardly anything happened. This year there will be some backroom meetings going on. I only wish I could be a fly on the wall in those meetings.

Welcome to Texas, Jordan! You have joined a team that should be competing for the wild card this year. If not, they will be a much-improved team no matter what.

Features Image: Dylon Buell/Getty Images
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