Tigers' discussions with Lyon ongoing
Reliever may make decision next week; Parrish weighing options
DETROIT -- The Tigers continue to hold discussions with the agent for free-agent reliever Brandon Lyon, who could end up making a decision on a team next week.
Agent Barry Meister said Friday evening that he's in the process of weighing interest from teams. At this point, however, Lyon is not considering a formal offer from Detroit or other clubs, though potential contract terms are believed to have been discussed. Three or four clubs are currently involved in the quest for the 29-year-old right-hander's services, including Detroit and Minnesota.
In the Tigers' case, Lyon would be eyeing a chance at the closer's job, a role he held for most of last season in Arizona.
Lyon saved 26 games last year for the Diamondbacks, 19 of them in a solid first half to the season before the D-backs traded for Jon Rauch down the stretch and Lyon shifted into a setup role. He finished with a 4.70 ERA and .301 batting average allowed. A year earlier, Lyon was one of baseball's top setup men, racking up 35 holds and two saves while blowing just three save situations behind then-closer Jose Valverde.
Lyon spent the last four seasons in Arizona after opening his career in the American League -- first as a starter in Toronto in 2001-02, then in relief with the Red Sox in 2003. He has pitched in a variety of roles, which potentially fits the Tigers well, as manager Jim Leyland tries to rework a bullpen that struggled last season in the late innings and finished with Fernando Rodney as the closer.
With Rodney returning and Joel Zumaya now on a throwing program following surgery last September to repair a stress fracture in his throwing shoulder, Lyon could become a veteran cog in Detroit alongside them.
Meanwhile, the Tigers' search for other parts in their bullpen continues. They're in active discussions regarding free-agent lefty John Parrish, who has a half-dozen teams showing interest.
Parrish made six starts and seven relief appearances with the Blue Jays last year in a couple different stints. He forced his way back into the big leagues by going 10-1 with a 2.97 ERA at Triple-A Syracuse, mostly as a starter. His success last year and his arsenal has earned him attention in what has been a slow-moving lefty relief market.
Other free-agent lefties, such as Will Ohman and Joe Beimel, are expected to determine how quickly the rest of the market moves. Once one signs, the rest could soon follow.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.