[UPDATE] I think Zach Levine has it best at trying to find a silver lining:
At the end of the day (quite literally at 11:30PM) this feels like a classic Ed Wade move, but just not one that seems like it'll really ever come back to bite us too hard. Will he catch a lot of flack for it yes. Could it prove to be a decent enough signing in hindsight? It could. He's proved the pundits (myself included) wrong many times.
It's been a long day, with a lot to digest. Maybe tomorrow I finally have gained my bearings on today's transactions. Can you get a hot stove hangover?
[UPDATE] Rosenthal has the deal at $15 million over three years. The section I've added at the end about cost-effective now has to be amended. I don't know why Ed Wade overpaid for Lyon's services. He could have just gone an extra year on LaTroy Hawkins and come out top. Mike Gonzalez is still on the market and would have been a better fit (I'm just bitter the Gonzalez deal didn't come to fruition in the end, I guess). Yes, Lyon is only thirty, but it's not like he's got a closer's repertoire.
But, because there always is one, it's not like Lyon will kill us at this price, so I think my points below still kind of apply (just lessen my adulation of Wade and sort of turn my overall feeling back to relative indifference).
[UPDATE] Apparently FOX 26 is way ahead of the curve on this one. They have it as a three year deal. This deal is edging closer to getting a big thumbs down.
This one has come kind out of left field. There was literally no news of this until FOX 26 popped up in my RSS feed (those things are like the dinosaurs now). There's no news yet on the amount or years, but it has been confirmed that we have reached an agreement with Brandon Lyon. The deal is, of course, pending a physical.
Lyon is actually rated as highly as Jose Valverde is by CHONE. Not that means too terribly much. Lyon posted a 4.06FIP/4.24xFIP in 2009. He is pegged by Bill James to post a 3.88 FIP in 2010. Last year he struggled with his control (1.84 K:BB) after having a career year in that department in 2008 (3.38 K:BB); but Bill James has him as posting a 2.11 K:BB and CHONE foresees a 2.23 K:BB; he also has a career GB% of 42.5%. He's not exactly your protypical closer, but he definitely fits the mold of what Wade was looking for: someone who closed out baseball games before.
At the very least, this deal gives us competition for who takes the ball in the ninth inning during spring training, and gives us a plethora of fringe closer-candidates to eventually develop into a strong enough back end of the rotation.
Costs will be the key for this deal, but I imagine Lyon couldn't have raked in too much. More to come when the amounts and years are released.
I still don't know the dollar amounts on this, but if it's cost effective, I have to give Wade credit for today. The Matt Lindstrom trade didn't really force the Astros to give up anything that they couldn't live without, and I have to imagine that Lyon, even at three years, will provide reasonably costs service during that period of time. So that's two relievers for three years, all at a reasonable price. Even when Arias, Sampson, and Fulchino start qualifying for arbitration, the bullpen will not be the expense that hamstrings us.
In all, I think I have to say I'm pleased with the gambit of Wade's. He's positioning us nicely for the clubs—hopeful—turnover in 2012-2013. There seems to be some real foresight into today's moves. Nothing flashy, but definitely serviceable. We'll be a bullpen of Honda Civics, but that's not a bad thing to be in our current state as franchise.