Brandon Lyon, Astros Complete Three-Year Deal


Brandon Lyon, Astros Complete Three-Year Deal HOUSTON — Brandon Lyon wants to be the Houston Astros' closer, yet will be understanding if he winds setting up Matt Lindstrom.

"Who wouldn't want to be in the closer's role?" he said Saturday after finalizing his a $15 million, three-year contract. "Obviously, you'd like to be in there and get your team off the field with a win. But if it's best for the team to pitch in another role, I'll do that."

Lyon was 6-5 with a 2.86 ERA in 65 appearances for the Detroit Tigers last season after spending 2005-08 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The right-hander had a career-high 26 saves in 2008 and appeared in a career-best 73 games with a 2.68 ERA in 2007.

"This is a big deal for me in my career," Lyon said. "Weighing back and forth, going over the situations I had, Houston just made a lot of sense to me."

Houston had bullpen holes to fill after closer Jose Valverde declined arbitration and LaTroy Hawkins agreed to a $7.5 million, two-year contract with Milwaukee, a deal still subject to a physical.

The hard-throwing Lindstrom was acquired from Florida this week for right-hander Robert Bono and infielders Luis Bryan and Jorge Jimenez.

General manager Ed Wade said Lyon and Lindstrom both are capable closers, but he'll let new manager Brad Mills decide which will assume the full-time role.

"We've got very good coverage of both the eighth and ninth innings," Wade said.

Lyon says he's comfortable in either role.

"I don't want to go into any situation and be greedy," Lyon said. "Those are decisions I can't really make, those are decisions that have to come from management. I just want to help the team win."

Lyon was Arizona's closer from 2005-08, saving 40 games in 46 chances. He was the setup man for Fernando Rodney in Detroit last season.

A 14th-round draft pick in 1999, Lyon also has played for the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox in eight big league seasons. He is 27-34 in 374 appearances with a 4.20 ERA and 54 saves.

Lyon will get $4.25 million next year, $5.25 million in 2011 and $5.5 million in 2012.

Houston was among the most active teams at the winter meetings, also agreeing to a $4.5 million, one-year contract with third baseman Pedro Feliz. Wade said he'd still like to add more depth to the outfield.

Wade said Valverde's rejection of arbitration could benefit the team in the short term.

Valverde made $8 million last season and Wade said re-signing him would've prevented the Astros from pursuing Feliz or even making an effort to keep Hawkins.

Instead, the Astros only had to commit about $6 million next season for both Lyon and Lindstrom and that allowed Wade to sign Feliz.

"We still have a little bit of pocket change left," Wade said. "There's money left and money remaining for the rest of this month and the month of January could put us in a good position not to bottom-feed, but to take advantage of the surplus of talent out there and maybe get a bargain on a quality player."

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