Tigers trade rumors: Brandon Lyon reunion could prove useful

Bob Levey

Former Tiger set up man Brandon Lyon has been to Houston, Toronto, New York, and the disabled list since leaving Detroit. Could he be coming back?

The Tigers signed Brandon Lyon prior to the 2009 season and gave him first crack at the closer role. Lyon started serving up home runs in spring training, and lost the job to Fernando Rodney, who never gave it back. Both may be outside the Tigers organization now, but Lyons may make sense if Detroit would like a reunion with their former setup man.

Stats

YEAR ERA SIERA K% BB% HR/FB% BABIP
2013 3.45 4.12 16.4 8.2 6.1 .323
CAREER 4.07 4.12 15.8 7.4 8.5 .297

(SIERA: Skills Interactive Earned Run Average; BABIP: Batting Average on balls in Play.)

Stats via FanGraphs.com (updated June 30)

Contract Details

Lyon signed a one-year contract with the Mets for just $750,000 this season, plus health and performance bonuses, and has performed well. He will be a free agent after this season. (Cot's)

Background

Lyon will be 34 years old in August, with 13 years experience in the major leagues. The last eleven seasons have been spent in the bullpen. Other than the 2011 season, most of which was spent on the disabled list, Lyon has been a workhorse, topping out at 78 2/3 innings with the Tigers in 2009.

Why he fits the Tigers

Lyon is a solid relief pitcher who doesn't get rattled when things aren't going well. He's not a flame thrower, but he set a career high with a 9.30 K/9 rate in 2012. Otherwise, his stats show no signs of decline. He has plenty of late inning experience where he has done a decent job, year after year. He would not cost much to acquire.

Why he doesn't fit the Tigers

Lyon would be a decent addition to any bullpen, but if the Tigers feel that they have better options in house, or can find a more dynamic late inning pitcher, they'd go another direction. If the organization feels that Al Alburquerque or Bruce Rondon would not implode in a set up role, they'd rather give their own prospects some valuable playoff race exzperience.

How likely is a trade?

The Mets should be willing to part with Lyon for any sort of decent prospect. They're not going to win anything any time soon. Lyon makes just $250,000 more than the league minimum player who would replace him for the Mets, but he's starting to accrue bonus money as he remains healthy.

What the Tigers should give up

Not much more than a decent relief prospect. The Mets have nothing to gain by hanging on to Lyon. Might as well get something for him.

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