Another day has gone by and it’s another day that the Milwaukee Brewers have not dived headfirst into the free agency pool. Sure, they have signed some free agents. They signed left-handed pitcher Thomas Pannone; but that was to a minor league deal. Pannone spent last season pitching in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO). They also signed right-handed pitcher Collin Wiles to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league camp. Of course, they have also swung some major trades, adding All-Star catcher William Contreras and slugger Jesse Winker. However, as fans, it is getting tiring seeing Major League proven players fly off the board while the Brewers seemingly do nothing. On Monday, another former Brewers pitcher was signed, spotlighting the lack of free agent spending in Milwaukee.
He made 32 starts in 2022 for the Orioles, who then declined their 2023 option. Over 179 innings he posted a 4.42 ERA, 4.40 FIP with 144 SO and 52 BB. pic.twitter.com/ixUVn9pRNF
— Preston Farr (@preston_b_farr) December 20, 2022
Former Brewers Pitcher Jordan Lyles Signs with Royals
Now, Jordan Lyles is not a big-name free agent, but as a former Brewers pitcher, his signing is a stark reminder of how little Mark Attanasio spends. Lyles just signed with the Kansas City Royals after spending 2022 with the Baltimore Orioles. In 32 starts, Lyles was 12-11 with a 4.22 ERA. This was a solid bounce-back season for Lyles after two woeful seasons with the Texas Rangers (11-19, 5.60 ERA).
Now, I know what you’re thinking? The Brewers don’t need starters. They have Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta. After them, they have Eric Lauer, Aaron Ashby, and Adrian Houser. My response to that is: For how long? Houser was 6-10 with a 4.71 ERA and struggled with health this past season. Peralata, too, missed significant time with injuries. Woodruff also missed time. Can a team really have too many potential starters?
I am also not saying that Jordan Lyles should have been the Brewers’ top priority. However, it is worth noting that in two half-season stints with the Brewers (so essentially one year), Lyles was 8-1 with a 2.64 ERA. He was used as both a starter and a reliever.
No details of Lyles’ deal with the Royals have been made public. He made $7 million last season with the Orioles and they turned down his $11 million club option after the season ended. Since $8.5 million of Andrew McCutchen “broke the bank” for Attanasio last season, it makes sense (to him) that a quality arm would be too expensive on the free agent market.