How Jordan Lyles could make KC Royals fans happy
Jordan Lyles' 2023 season was one to forget. Working in the first year of the two-season deal he signed with the Royals last winter, he went 6-17 with a 6.28 ERA; those 17 defeats and unacceptable ERA were the big leagues' worst.
That Lyles had such an awful campaign wasn't entirely unforeseeable. Entering the season with a 5.10 career ERA meant he was no stranger to surrendering too many runs, and he couldn't count more than three winning records among his 12 previous big league seasons.
His ugly performance made for much dissension among Royal faithful, but he wasn't really tradeable during the season and, combined with what he did in 2023, his two-year contract means the Royals won't be able to effectively court suitors for him until the midsummer trade deadline period, and then only if he's at least partially acquitted himself of last season's bad work.
Kansas City fans would, of course, welcome Lyles improving enough to make himself marketable — their club could deal him to a contender for prospects and avoid losing him for nothing when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Time and several appearances will determine how much improvement, if any, Lyles can achieve in 2024. If he's significantly better, and pays the club some dividends from that two-year deal, Royals fans just might be thrilled.