When the Brewers came away empty-handed in their pursuit of pitching at the non-waiver trade deadline, it was important to remember that some of those moves were still possible in August.
We’ve now seen our first such move — albeit a minor one — as the Brewers have reportedly claimed right-hander Jordan Lyles from the San Diego Padres.
Jordan Lyles will just beat the #Padres to Milwaukee. The #Brewers claimed the RHP off waivers and Padres letting him go. He just left Wrigley Field.— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) August 5, 2018
And Tyson Ross is going to pitch for the #Cardinals, who claimed him.
Padres looking toward giving prospects shots in rotation.
The team made the move official just now.
RHP Jordan Lyles has been acquired via trade waivers from the San Diego Padres. With his addition, the 40-man roster is currently at 39. pic.twitter.com/Hwow4braFv— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) August 5, 2018
As Kevin Acee notes, Lyles isn’t the only Padres pitcher being let go, as the Cardinals added former All-Star Tyson Ross as they remain on the fringe of the NL Wildcard picture.
Teams have a few options when a player is claimed on revocable waivers in August — they can either pull that player back, work out a trade with the claiming team, or simply just let the player go for no return. For whatever reason, it appears that’s the course the Padres are taking, not even asking the Brewers or Cardinals to throw some low-level arms their way as a lottery ticket.
Lyles was once a highly-regarded pitching prospect in the Houston system, but success has never really materialized in the majors — after being rushed to debut as a 20-year-old on the hopeless 106-loss 2011 Astros, Lyles has a 5.32 ERA in 752.1 career innings.
Still only 27 years old, Lyles has fared better in the pitcher-friendly environment of San Diego this year, putting up a 4.29 ERA in 71.1 innings. He’s appeared in 24 games but has only started on a part-time basis this year, making 8 starts. He’s cut down his walk rate dramatically this season and has increased his strikeout rates, which has gotten him to being a roughly league-average pitcher. His best start of the season was on May 15, when he held the Rockies to 1 hit over 7.1 shutout innings and struck out 10 — but he’s also had two starts in which he gave up 11 hits.
It’s unclear what his role with the Brewers will be, whether it’s making a handful of starts or serving more as a long relief option out of the bullpen. The Padres are playing in Chicago today, so there’s a chance Lyles could make it in time to be available for today’s game.
Lyles is making $800,000 this year and has a team option for next season worth $3.5 million as a result of a deal he signed with the Padres in the offseason. That option has a $200,000 buyout.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference