When looking at Texas Rangers RHP Jordan Lyles‘ 2021 numbers, they don’t look all that impressive on face value. A 5.37 ERA and a 1.522 WHIP is bad enough to cost some starting pitchers their jobs around Major League Baseball, and his 4.90 FIP isn’t looking all that much better. A 30 year old journeyman who has struggled to find a home over the past few seasons, calling Lyles a “valuable trade piece” is quite the exaggeration.
However, upon digging a little deeper, and analyzing some of Lyles’ more recent starts, a different picture begins to emerge.
Over his past seven outings for the Texas Rangers, Lyles has an ERA of 3.69. He’s pitched at least five full innings during each start, and has gone six innings in three of his past four starts. Lyles has lowered his season ERA by over two full runs since May 1st, and has very quietly positioned himself to be potential trade candidate around this year’s July deadline.
Starting pitching is always in demand at the midseason mark, and even an ERA in the mid-to-low 4.00s is enough to have some pitching-needy teams calling. There are very few teams in baseball – even teams in contention – that run five deep in their starting rotation.
If Lyles were to continue pitching at his current rate, we could very easily be looking at a scenario where the Rangers could begin getting some calls about his availability. Lyles is on the second year of a two-year/$18 million that he signed back in 2019, so potential suitors wouldn’t have to worry about financing the acquisition past this current season. Lyles is a pure “rental,” the type of player that teams typically like to acquire around the trade deadline.
Possessing a 3.69 ERA over his last seven starts, Texas Rangers RHP Jordan Lyles might end up drawing some interest around the trade deadline.
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Lyles’ current string of productive starts is a blip on the radar of an otherwise disappointing Texas career, so I wouldn’t be expecting top prospects in return. However, receiving any sort of young talent in exchange for Lyles should be viewed as a major success for the Rangers front office should it happen.
Obviously the initial contract that they handed to Lyles wasn’t a very good one, but grabbing another young player to add to the team’s rebuilding process would be a net positive when it’s all said and done.
Here’s to hoping that Lyles can give the Rangers another handful of quality outings leading into the trade deadline.