12:55pm: The Orioles confirmed that Lyles’ option has indeed been declined.
Despite coming off a pair of rough seasons in Texas, Lyles landed a surprisingly strong $7MM guarantee with Baltimore just prior to the league’s implementation of last winter’s 99-day lockout. The veteran righty, who just turned 32 a couple weeks ago, gave the O’s everything they could’ve reasonably hoped for and generally succeeded in turning that modest investment into a bargain.
Through a team-high 179 innings, Lyles posted a 4.42 ERA with an 18.6% strikeout rate, a strong 6.7% walk rate and a 40.2% ground-ball rate. The innings were particularly vital for a Baltimore club that was generally relying on young, unproven arms who cycled through the other four rotation spots behind Lyles. The stability he provided the team every fifth day both helped to spare the bullpen and to more effectively manage some of the workloads of an otherwise largely untested group of rotation candidates.
More to come.