Multiple sources suggest that the New York Mets and free agent reliever Brandon Lyon could be closing in on a deal. Specific parameters of a possible contract are still unknown and it would appear that as of Sunday afternoon Lyon was still engaged in talks with a number of other clubs, but officials within the Mets organization appear optimistic that a deal will be reached.
Lyon split the 2012 season between the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays, making 67 appearances. He posted a 3.10 ERA, 1.246 WHIP, and 9.3 K/9 over 61.0 innings this past season. Right-handed hitters batted .253 against him, while lefties mustered just a .213 line. The 33 year old will be entering his 12th season in the Major Leagues.
New York clearly made it a point to address their bullpen this winter, as Lyon would potentially be the third right-hander that the team has signed in just the past week. Lyon, Scott Atchison, and LaTroy Hawkins will collectively give the team some options with late-game experience under their belts, which could be vital considering there are already reports that GM Sandy Alderson isn’t enamored with keeping current closer Frank Francisco in the role. Francisco is under control for a hefty sum, $6.5 Million, but will be a free agent at season’s end so there doesn’t appear to be much concern within the Mets organization that might prevent them from pulling him from the closer’s role should be struggle early on. Should they look to make such a move then Lyon and Bobby Parnell would appear to be two early favorites to step into the role.
Former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson has been linked to the Mets over the past few weeks, including reports that the team privately watched him workout at one point, but an agreement with Lyon likely eliminates any chance that the team brings him aboard. This also would presumably put an end to rumors about the team’s possible interest in Jose Valverde.