Reports: White Sox trade for Lance Lynn

The winter meetings may be virtual, but the action is very real.

The White Sox’s first move of the winter bolsters their rotation, as multiple reports have them acquiring Lance Lynn from the Texas Rangers.

Ken Rosenthal completed the deal: It’s Lynn to the White Sox, and Dane Dunning and Avery Weems heading to the Rangers.

Lynn is entering the final year of a three-year contract he had signed with the Rangers, who had to love what he did with the first two. Lynn went 22-14 with a 3.57 ERA, finishing fifth in Cy Young voting in 2019, and sixth this past season.

He also had the peripherals to match, with the only concern being a jump in homers allowed:

YearW-LERAIPHHRBBKFIP
201916-113.67208.119521592463.13
20206-33.3284641325894.19

Looking at his game log, five of those 13 homers came over 11⅔ innings against the Astros, who posted nearly half of the earned runs he allowed:

OpponentIPHRERHRERA
HOU11.2201615511.57
Rest72.144181681.99

Lynn relied heavily on the fastball-cutter combo throughout his Texas tenure, as they made up 90 percent of his pitches. It’s not a visibly impressive arsenal, but he bullies hitters with it, and Mike Petriello summed up his 2021 outlook thusly:

We could spend another 1,000 words explaining how he’s become a star, but the short version here is “he’s good,” “he’s good in a way that seems repeatable, not flukish,” “he’s projected to be a top starter in 2021” and “he’s only due $9.3 million in the final year of his contract,” a more than reasonable figure even in this pandemic winter of expected belt-tightening.

Dunning is a fair price to pay, but how steep depends on how you feel about him after the most unconventional of years. His 2020 was a triumph by any measure. After missing the entirety of the 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery, his first attempt at sticking in the majors doubled as his rehab stint, and he showed he could hang. He posted a 3.97 ERA over seven starts, with 35 strikeouts against 13 walks over 34 innings.

Endurance was a little bit of an issue, both in-game and in-season, although it was understandable given the circumstances. He threw a pair of excellent starts in early September — the first against Pittsburgh (six shutout innings) followed by his finest outing to date against Minnesota (seven innings of one-run ball). He struggled in his final two starts, inspiring Rick Renteria to put him on the shortest of leashes during Game 3 of the Wild Card Series.

If Dunning recaptured his pre-surgery form, he has a good shot at sticking in the middle of a rotation for years. None of his pitches jumps off the screen, but he commands them well. However, there’s also a chance the White Sox are selling high on Dunning’s body of work against weak opponents in a shortened season, and the direct upgrade over his rotation spot makes his absence easier to absorb.

As for Weems, he came from off the radar to surface as the No. 10 prospect on Baseball Prospectus’ list. The White Sox grabbed him in the sixth round after a disappointing senior year at Arizona, but he handled rookie ball with ease in 2019 before the pandemic limited him to only instructional league play in 2020. Next year will be his age-24 season and he hasn’t yet reached A-ball, but he’ll come into the season with at least a little bit of stock momentum after pitching well in instructs.

(Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire)

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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asinwreck

I’ll miss Dunning, but keeping Kopech for his remaining control years and having a season of Lynn is a solid strategy for the present and future. We know the prospect cannot possibly be Elijah Tatis, but who is it?

Otter

Waiting on the prospect but I like it so far…

mikeyb

So just to be clear, Rick Renteria was fired for not sticking with Dane Dunning in a playoff game, but also Dane Dunning is so expendable that the Sox traded him for 1 year of a 33 year old pitcher coming off a season with a 4.20 FIP? Cannot wait to see the reaction from the people who were claiming that Dylan Cease has too much potential to trade…

craigws

Same. I’m not opposed to trading Dunning, but this seems like a *really* poor use of his value.

Otter

Dunning is something like a FV of 50. I don’t think that goes as far as you think it does in acquiring good MLB talent.

Eagle Bones

Not only that, he’s also a pitcher with a limited ceiling and a major arm injury in the not too distant past. I like him, but yeah I don’t know that he had a TON of trade value.

HallofFrank

Well, that’s one way to spin it. You might also ask how the Sox just got one of the best (and most reliable) SP in baseball (owed only $9m) for a 26 year old coming off TJS and 34 IP above AA?

I like Dunning but the lack of excitement for Lynn baffles me. See this recent piece on him from FanGraphs: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/some-renewed-appreciation-for-lance-lynn/

The White Sox now have one of the most formidable playoff rotations in baseball.

Michael Kenny

I think we’re just pessimistic after 15 years of nothing going right.

ParisSox

For us Sox fans, you can substitute “15 years” for “Lifetime with the occasional exception”

mikeyb

I’m curious what it would have cost to get him before the trade deadline. I’m assuming Dunning wasn’t even on the Rangers’ mind then due to coming back from injury, and I’m guessing Hahn wanted to ride with Cease to not give up on him too early. But it sure would have been nice to have 2 cracks at the playoffs with Lynn rather than 1, if he’s as good as people seem to think he is.

Personally, I’m just not sold on him being one of the best pitchers in baseball. His 2019 was phenomenal, but it was certainly an outlier in a career that I think you more properly described as reliable. Add that to the fact that you’re getting 1 (likely covid shortened) season out of this trade, and it’s just not as exciting of a move as I would have hoped for. But I’m hopeful to be proven wrong!

texag10

I mean, he was reliable and good with the Cardinals and then these past two years he’s basically ditched the sinker for a cutter and started throwing harder so he isn’t even really the same pitcher he was when he was averaging like 3.5 fWAR/season. Seems like a good move to me.

Eagle Bones

Yeah I don’t really have any concerns about 2019 being any kind of outlier. He’s changed his arsenal and the results improved because of that.

HallofFrank

It’s fair to be skeptical that he’ll repeat 2019, but even if they get 2012-2018 Lynn that’s a very good pitcher. In that span, he had a 3.58 ERA & 3.71 FIP. That’s easily better production than the Sox would get from any non-Bauer pitcher on the market. And, as I saw one Twins fan point out on Twitter, Lynn is arguably a better bet than Bauer for 2021.

To your first paragraph, I agree entirely. I can’t help being a little annoyed at that. Of course, who knows what the asking price was. And I guess Dunning’s value was boosted by his post-trade deadline work, too. But, especially given what happened in the playoffs, it’s hard not to wonder what could have been.

asinwreck

Hard to say if the Sox could have made a deal for Lynn under contract for two stretch runs rather than one, at a time before the Rangers committed to a teardown. I suspect the price would have been higher than two mid-20s pitchers with repaired elbows yet to establish themselves in the majors.

From the Rangers’ side, I wonder what role Chris Young had in this deal. He just joined the organization last week!

asinwreck

Also, Ken Rosenthal reports that Lynn may have prevented a mid-2020 deal:

No one in the industry could understand it. Why didn’t the Rangers move Lance Lynn at the Aug. 31 trade deadline, when his value might never have been higher?

Turns out there was a reason.

Lynn and his agent at Excel Sports Management, Bobby Barad, informed the Rangers he would opt out of the season if he was sent to a team he did not wish to join, according to major-league sources.

Last edited 2 years ago by asinwreck
Eagle Bones

Well that answers that. Good catch.

mikeyb

So now we’ve traded for a pitcher who possibly doesn’t even want to be here? Well, at least we just signed a manager with a great recent track record to smooth over any issues!

HallofFrank

I’d guess 90% of players traded weren’t thrilled to be traded.

mikeyb

Pshhh what MLB player wouldn’t want to leave a warm, 0% state income tax state for Chicago? Sounds like a wuss.

denman

Lynn broke in under La Russa back in 2011. It could be that the La Russa hire warmed Lynn to the Sox.

Eagle Bones

As I believe HoF was alluding to above, COVID likely had most players not looking to be traded.

asinwreck

Also, Jim, that’s an amazing photoshop of LaMarr Hoyt in a Rangers uniform back around the time he was actually pitching for the Padres.

MrStealYoBase

Too early to judge this. But eschewing the one pitching prospect who has shown he can throw strikes for a one year rental is not a move I’m loving at first glance.

evenyoudorn

I feel like it’s within that “hurts for both sides” band. Rangers fans probably expected a bigger name. At his salary I’m sure there were other good offers.

asinwreck

Hm. One of the recent HS picks? Stiever? We’ll know soon.

dwjm3

This is feeling like an overpay.

35Shields

You have to be really pretty bearish on Dunning for this not to be a pretty large overpay.

Steamer and ZiPS project Dunning to be worth 0.9 WAR next season, but that’s only over ~80 IP. Even if he hits that projection exactly and barely improves over the next 5 years in terms of talent or endurance, he’d still basically be fair value for one year of Lynn.

mikeyb

Steamer, as of this morning, has Dunning with a nearly identical WAR per inning pitched as Lynn for 2021.

Seems like Hahn is betting strongly on Lynn’s reliability here. I’d like this trade so much more if they didn’t trade trade a pretty important piece in their rotation for another piece in their rotation. They still, in my eyes, only have 3 SPs that I would be excited to have on a contending team.

Brett R. Bobysud

As opposed to the 2 they had prior to this deal.

Eagle Bones

I agree with you that I would have rather moved further off pieces than Dunning. That may have not been what Texas was looking for though and they don’t exactly have a ton of those. Probably should have drafted better these last however many years.

texag10

Ok but this is exactly what we should be doing right? Everyone wanted to fortify the rotation so we’d have Gio/Dallas/New guy as our top 3. We tendered Lopez, Kopech is coming back, Cease is still a thing for now, and Dunning’s here. There was a non-zero chance Dunning didn’t crack the starting rotation. He’s about to turn 26 and has already had tommy john surgery and would potentially spend the season in AAA waiting for an opening to pitch with us again. As much as we want to have all the good players on our team, he makes too much sense to trade away for a pitcher like Lynn who is way underpaid relative to his talent level.

mikeyb

Lynn is a 33 year old pitcher on a 1 year deal. I would argue that is NOT what we should be doing. If we tore down for 4 years to win for 1 year, that seems like a poor strategy to me.

If Dunning wasn’t going to be on the MLB roster behind Cease and Lopez, I have some massive questions about our MLB evaluators.

Eagle Bones

Why would you look at this as them going for it only for one year? Lynn being on a one-year deal has nothing to do with the length of their window.

dwjm3

If you got another front end starter for 9.3 million it sure seems like going after Springer makes sense.

Eagle Bones

For the love of god, yes!

35Shields

Oh boy. How are the White Sox the ones sending something else along in this deal?

Michael Kenny

I had Lynn in my offseason plan, but I’m also a Dunning stan. Dude doesn’t have Kopech or Cease’s stuff, but he can flat out pitch. I don’t know how to feel.

vince

Hot take: I will like this trade if the White Sox win the World Series with Lynn on the roster, or I will not like this trade if the Sox do not win the World Series.

Dingo_Sox

Left-hander Avery Weems is the other prospect the White Sox are trading for Lance Lynn with righty Dane Dunning, source tells The Athletic. Weems, 23, was the White Sox’s sixth-round pick out of the University of Arizona in 2019.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 8, 2020

asinwreck

Lil Jimmy’s afterlife is apparently a scouting gig for the Rangers. Weems was his guy.

WhereisRobin

I love this move, unfortunately we had to pay a fair price for it

This dude is our new #2 starter, this is a fantastic upgrade for our rotation

jorgefabregas

Seems like a fair-ish trade. Best wishes to Dunning.

For it to make sense, they also need to make a significant upgrade on the position player aside, especially since they are likely losing McCann.

That is to say, if they’re pushing chips in for 2021 and giving up future value, they shouldn’t half-ass it with free agent spending. But with the Springer report, it sounds like the ass will be halved.

Last edited 2 years ago by jorgefabregas
mark

If this move was made in August, the Sox likely get past the As in the playoffs

soxfan

That was my thought as well, which raises the question – why wasn’t this deal done in August?

Brett R. Bobysud

Dunning had only made 2 starts by the time of the deadline last season.

I imagine, Texas was asking for a different package involving multiple players at the time that might’ve been more than the Sox were willing to pay.

Oddvark

Lynn definitely improves the rotation for 2021. But since Dunning was lost, the Sox still need to add a quality SP in free agency. They can’t rely on Kopech and Cease to fill the rotation, with Lopez and Stiever as their pitching depth. Since Lynn’s salary is relatively low, signing another reasonable back-end starter (Quintana/Richards) or an upside play (Paxton/Kluber) should easily be within their budget. Which additional starter they sign will affect how I feel about this trade.

ParisSox

I like Dunning a lot. But give me the proven guy for a year they are trying to win it. I like this trade a lot.

texag10

So right now the rotation appears to be Gio/Keuchel/Lynn/Cease/Lopez with Stiever and Kopech as the top guys in AAA to be called up?

As Cirensica

I have conflicted thoughts on this one. The White Sox entered this season needing pitching depth, so we traded a veteran 1 year pitcher in exchange of two pitchers. That’s not how replenishing pitching depth works.

OK, I get it, we badly needed a pitcher like Lynn in 2021. I hope we won’t badly need a pitcher like Dunning after 2021.If the White Sox does not reach the World Series as minimum goal, then this trade feels empty.

Currently, the White Sox very likely make the playoff without Lynn, so getting Lynn to only make the playoff will be shortsighted because next year we won’t have neither Lynn nor Dunning. I am guessing Hahn/Jerry won’t cheap out with RF, DH, and closer. But we know they will.

Brett R. Bobysud

One of the pitchers involved is a 24-year old that has never pitched at a higher level than instructional league or rookie ball, to be fair, as Jim pointed out.

metasox

Sox may look to extend Lynn. He will only make about 9 mil in ’21 so he has some incentive to up that.

shaggy65

Shades of the Jeff Samardzija trade. Try to get one year of good pitching on the cheap by trading away “low ceiling” prospects at the beginning of their major league careers. At the time Semien was just a utility guy, Phegely was a back-up catcher, and Bassitt was a back-end starter. And yet each one of them ended up being more valuable to the A’s in 2015 than the Shark was to the White Sox. Semien ended up totally more than 20 WAR for Oakland. Would anyone really be shocked if Dunning did something close to that for the Rangers?

Will Lynn be better in 2021 than Dunning? Probably. Lynn has a solid track record. He was the better pitcher in 2020. But it’s worth noting that Dunning actually had a better FIP in 2020 (3.99 vs. 4.19). Lynn might have been good in the playoffs, but so might Dunning–we’ll never know. What we do know is that Dunning has performed at every level he’s pitched and is entering his prime. Lynn, meanwhile, has been steady but unspectacular for a long time. He’s now in his mid-30’s and hasn’t been an all-star in 8 years. Let’s not kid ourselves; we’re not getting an ace.

Will Lynn be much better in 2021 than Dunning? Maybe, but I’m not willing to bet Dunning’s career on it.

As Cirensica

Lynn, meanwhile, has been steady but unspectacular for a long time

I was gonna say you are wrong, but I thought of it and you might actually be right. Lynn has only one great season: 2019. All others, he has been above average but not great.

Brett R. Bobysud

I don’t think anyone considers Lynn an ace, and the Sox aren’t bringing him in to be an ace.

They already have one in Giolito.

They’re bringing him in to be a reliable 3rd starter on a team with playoff aspirations. Prior to his arrival, the Sox had 2 defined starters (Giolito & Keuchel) and a bunch of question marks (yes, Dunning is a ? at this point in his career).

texag10

So Lance Lynn had a higher FIP after facing Houston, Oakland, San Diego, and both LAs than Dane Dunning who had half his starts against the Pirates, Royals, and Tigers? Color me shocked.

HallofFrank

I posted this above, but the “Lynn got lucky one season” narrative is just wrong. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/some-renewed-appreciation-for-lance-lynn/

And you say “steady but unspectacular” like it’s a bad thing. If we ignore his last two seasons (which, why?), he still put up a 3.58 ERA & 3.71 FIP from 2012-2018. For reference, that’s better than the production the Sox got out of Mark Buehrle’s prime and we’re stumping for him to be in the Hall of Fame.

MrStealYoBase

When people think of Lynn (myself included) we remember the guy who was a free agent twice and ended up with deals that are frankly underwhelming.

If no other team wanted him badly enough to bring out the brinks truck, why should the Sox trade anyone with substantial value for him?

Now, there are plenty of guys with similar FA stories, where 29/30 other teams just missed the boat (DJLM for one). But the stigma sticks around.

HallofFrank

So, what you’re saying is, when people think of Lynn they think of the guy who was pitching for the Cardinals 4 years ago?

Front offices being cheap doesn’t do much for me as a case against Lynn, particularly when Lynn has made substantial changes (and improvements) since signing his previous contract.

Eagle Bones

The Samardzija trade was a bad one, but not because of the reasons you outlined above. That was a stupid trade because they stopped short of completing the roster in a meaningful way, which made trading for a rental a pretty obviously dumb thing to do. They also seemed to screw with his pitching philosophy which seemed like a pretty stupid thing to do with a veteran arm coming off a great year.

joewho112

I agree with this. If they start this season without signing quality players for RF and DH, this was a bad move. If they are actually committed to winning with a complete roster, this is as good a first step as any

Soxfan2

I agree that this move mostly can’t be judged until the off-season is over. This is an “all in” move that needs to be supplemented with other “all-in” moves. We’ve seen the Sox make a splash only to supplement it with half-measures.

Losing 6 years of Dunning looks like it might hurt but Lynn has legit been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the last couple years. He’s a legit top of the rotation arm that you feel confident giving the ball to in a playoff game. Among pitchers with at least 400 innings since 2018…Lance is 8th in fWar, 11th in FIP, 10th in K/9, 9th in Exit velocity, and 11th in innings. He’s been a borderline top 10 pitcher over the last few years. He pitches a lot of innings, strikes guys out and doesn’t give up hard contact. With that being said, his 2019 season really boosted all of his numbers.

I think Dunning mostly settles into a 2.5-3 fwar a year guy which is insanely valuable. With that being said, he’s 26 and has had two tommy john surgeries. He also will not be dependable to pitch a full season until 2022. IMO, he was the most movable prospect we had in terms of trade market value and contribution to the Sox. Time will tell if it was for the right player.

Also, I wonder how much input or any, Ethan Katz had on the trade. During the press conference it seemed like he did a bunch of research on all our young pitchers. I wonder if the Sox asked Katz what he thought of Dunning before they traded him. I’d be more confident if Katz gave the Sox some approval of the Dunning trade. Katz is a modern thinker and smart thinker.

Last edited 2 years ago by Soxfan2
Eagle Bones

Yep, if they add aggressively around this, it makes sense. Fix RF, grab someone to at least help at DH until Vaughn is ready, add a solid pen arm and probably another depth starter. That kind of roster has a real shot to make some noise.

denman

I’ve gotta agree with everything you’ve said. Although if Katz approaches coaching anything like the Coop did, every young pitcher has nothing but upside. So, I’m not sure how valuable his input would be on trade. Looking at the White Sox prospect list Dunning is the highest rated pitching prospect it made sense to trade. Kopech and Cease may remain too unproven to bank on but they have the kind of arms that could make the solid top of the rotation starters if their abilities pan out. I’d be happier were it Stiever rather than Dunning and I’d love it if Lynn came with more than one year of team control. But this feels like Hahn beating out other suitors with a slight over pay. This move does bolster my belief that the Sox, from JR on down, are all in to win this year.

what

Dunning hasn’t had 2 Tommy john surgeries. Jace Fry has had Tommy john twice

HallofFrank

I’m all for aggressively continuing to add, but I disagree that this move can only be judged in the context of the entire offseason. This makes the 2021 White Sox a substantially better team and, more importantly, a much better playoff team. If the Sox sat on their hands the rest of the offseason (God forbid), I’d still be happy they made this deal.

Eagle Bones

Eh, I dunno this is where you lose me. If they don’t add aggressively after this, it’s kind of stupid. If Jerry is content to just keep the payroll below $135 mil forever, they probably should have hung on to Dunning.

Eagle Bones

As pnoles said on twitter, this all depends on what else they do. If they use the dollars saved here to add aggressively around him, I like this move. If they use this move as something to distract the fans while they do little else to augment the roster, it was stupid.

For those who wanted to keep Dunning, I get it. This is years of being beaten down by Jerry gnawing at you. The long-term key to this move is Jerry being willing to go out and fill Lynn’s spot with another good player next year when he’s a FA. If he’s willing to do that (big if), who cares if they lost Dunning? I like the guy, but he’s not someone with major upside (Longenhagen has him as a high-probability back-end guy, but without much ceiling and I’d tend to agree with that).

Eagle Bones

BTW with projected arb salaries, I’ve got them right around $110 mil after this.

raylewis67

Yes, Dunning represents a controllable, young, unproven arm, and we are only guaranteed a year of an older Lynn. But, controllable, young, unproven arms are a asset that the Sox actually have a relative surplus of. I really liked watching Dunning this year, but I think Jim’s point that the Sox are selling high on his limited body of work is a key point here. It’s possible the Sox are actually capitalizing on his greatest trade value, at the moment, and still have the two highest-ceiling young, controllable arms on the roster.

I personally have been high on trying to trade Kopech but the more I think about it, Dunning may have been the only young pitcher that other teams are willing to take on because there is actually recent information on Dunning.

The single year of Lynn hurts the most. Obviously I’m glad the Sox are in win-now but the core is still just so young. Lynn will not be on the team for the years the offense has the best chances of contention.

Last edited 2 years ago by raylewis67
GrinnellSteve

My early take is I’m not enthusiastic, but we have to wait and see how the offseason plays out, how the season plays out, how the next 6 seasons play out. Lynn is an upgrade for this year. He’ll give us reliable innings, perhaps even stellar innings. There will be a trickle down effect from that. That’s all great.

One of Rick’s goals was to build a consistent contender, one that would be in the mix year after year. This trades smacks of an all-in move for this year, the future be damned. That’s great except that the best team in baseball can still get bounced in the first round. 98 wins loses a lot of it’s luster if it’s followed by a face plant in the division series.

I’m not opposed to trading Dunning or Weems, but it should be for one of three reasons: reapportioning our prospect depth for somewhat comparable prospects in positions of weakness; or the Sox don’t think they’re actually good enough; or the deal is a steal for the Sox. This trade might be justified based on the second reason.

Eagle Bones

This move only hampers them long-term if they let it. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to replace back-end starter through FA after this year if they need to. The only thing that would prevent them from replacing Dunning is their own cheapness.

Oddvark

I don’t hate this trade or think it was a “huge” overpay. But some of my angst about it is (1) there are several decent starting pitchers available in free agency that we could have picked up for just money and thereby improved our rotation and kept Dunning and (2) I’m not sure that we couldn’t have gotten 2 years of Sonny Gray for the same or similar trade price.

Now Lynn seems like a better/safer bet than guys like Odorizzi/Tanaka/etc and the money saved should give the Sox more flexibility on other upgrades, so maybe that makes the trade the smarter option. And while I’ve been impressed with Sonny Gray, who like Lynn has looked especially good recently after a solid early career followed by a brief blip in NYC, maybe the Reds were asking for a lot more for Sonny Gray. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what they end up getting for him, if he does get traded.

Greg Nix

Y’all are too dour. Lynn is a huge upgrade. Dunning was a nice surprise last season, but he’s just as likely to never be that good again as he is to improve.

dwjm3

I think some of the trepidation stems from people wondering what comes next. Hahn saving money on starting pitching puts the organization in perfect position to go after Springer and of course we had a report earlier in the day suggesting they don’t plan on it.
I think people would be more excited if they felt the other puzzle pieces were going to follow.

The other issue is he is here on a one year deal. I do think Hahn might discuss an extension during the year as his strength is figuring out contracts.

Greg Nix

Even if they don’t do anything else, they’re a much improved team with Lynn instead of Dunning. They still have plenty of young pitching depth in Kopech, Cease, Crochet, Kelly, Stiever, Thompson, and Dalquist.

I get the knee jerk instinct to doubt the deal, but Dunning was probably the most expendable piece with real value that the franchise had. We’re getting to caught up on 4 good starts imo.

HallofFrank

Yes! I wonder how much of the Dunning love comes from how rare it is to see a Sox prospect immediately perform. Before his seven starts, I suspect this would have seemed like a steal to most Sox fans.

Eagle Bones

It’s funny, there were a TON of people on there that didn’t seem to like him when we were all discussing who should start Game 3 of the Oakland series. I was actually one of his more ardent defenders. Now people are up in arms about trading him away.

35Shields

I think there’s a pretty large difference between ‘is this guy the right pitcher to start this one particular game?’ and ‘will this guy be more valuable to a competing team over the next 6 years than one year of Lance Lynn?’

Eagle Bones

This seems like a false equivalency. It’s not Lynn for one year or Dunning for the next 6 years with no other options. If Lynn leaves after this year, they can sign someone else if they need to.

mikeyb

After thinking about it more, if another team had made this move, I probably would like it more, but I have zero faith in the White Sox ability to evaluate talent. That, combined with the ZIPs projections showing two very similarly valuable pitchers, makes me at least wary that this is going to spectacularly blow up in our faces.

Come April, when we’re looking at Lynn as our #2/#3 starter, I probably won’t even remember who Dunning is. But for now, I’m just worried those goofy Dunning glasses will haunt us for years.

Elena

The key question no one has asked: Will Lynn trim his beard?

asinwreck

Or have Roger Bossard attempt to manage it.

denman

With Keuchel and now Lynn, the Sox rotation has a ZZ Top look to it.

asinwreck

Man, I hope James Beard hits enough to make the majors while those guys are still on the team. He’ll have to be clean-shaven, of course.

texag10

For everyone saying that Lance Lynn will be good but not great:
In 2019 he gave up 31 ERs in 84 innings for a 3.32 ERA
15 of those earned runs came in his 2 starts (11.2 IP) against the Astros.
So in his other 11 starts that included 1 game versus the WSC Dodgers, 3 vs Oakland, 3 vs LAA, and 1 vs San Diego, Lance Lynn had a 1.99 ERA.

mikeyb

I’m confused. What pitchers don’t have a better ERA if you take out their worst outings that make up 15% of their starts?

denman

The point is that the Astros, one of the better teams in the league, seem to have solved Lynn in a way that other good teams had not. It’s also significant, I think, that Dunning’s success last season came against the Tigers, Royals and Pirates. A 60 game season complicates evaluating stats but Lynn’s performance since re-tooling his approach suggest he’ll be a much better than average 2nd or 3rd starter.

mikeyb

The Astros were league average in runs scored last year.

texag10

The point is that he had one start with 9 ERs, one with 6, 2 with 3, and 9 with two or less in a season where his shortest start was 5 innings. Yes, the dude eats innings but so does Lopez. The difference is that Lynn, outside of whatever voodoo the Astros have moved on to, is dominant in those innings he’s chowing down on.

mikeyb

I’m gonna be pretty upset if 15% of his starts in 2021 involve him allowing 6 or 9 runs against league average offenses.

Papa Giorgio

Hm. Only 1 year of him though? There better be some major moves coming soon.

tdogg

I like the move and don’t get the hand wringing over Dunning. I do agree they have to finish this off. I mean really. Enough with the bullshit.

Eagle Bones

Some people just want to live in a perpetual rebuild I guess? Given the options, I would have rather spent on a FA and kept Dunning, but I’m not going to complain about getting a really good pitcher.

tdogg

I think some of the SP money is going to a Giolito extension. I also think they sign another FA SP. Dunning was not bad to me but he was the least talented of the 3 (Cease and Kopech.) These are the types of moves I expect with so much cost certainty built into other positions. Sox fans are hesitant because of the past half efforts. I get that part.

roke1960

I like the trade, and I’m a big fan of Dunning. But it must be supplemented with more solid moves. And I don’t even think they need to add Springer or Bauer. These additions would really solidify the roster:
Pederson to platoon in right with Engel
Rosario/Schwarber/Brantley to share LF/DH with Eloy
Quintana or another mid-tier starter for the 4 spot
Colome or Archie Bradley for the back end of the bullpen
Curt Casali/Kurt Suzuki as backup catcher.
These 5 acquisitions could be had for around $30-35 million for 2021, and it will really fill out the roster. Now finish the job!

texag10

I honestly don’t think we add another pitcher. I think Cease/Lopez are the 4/5 until Kopech is up and running. As much as I’m ready to, I don’t think the FO is ready to give up on Cease and if we were going to add 2 pitchers this offseason, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to tender Lopez.

HallofFrank

That could spell problems quick. If Kopech takes awhile to get up and running and Cease & Lopez continue to pitch like, well, Cease & Lopez, the bottom of the rotation could be a real drag. Add in an injury to the top three and it could spell disaster.

I don’t think they need another big signing here, but a Quintana-tier pitcher on a one-year deal would go a long way to stabilizing the rotation and add insurance for a possible injury.

Greg Nix

I would be shocked if they didn’t add another back-end starter.

Eagle Bones

Yeah I’d expect another arm like Gio from last offseason.

denman

No team ever has too much starting pitching. This off season there’s no elite FA starter other than Bauer. For me, that’s part of what makes this a good deal. Either Gray or Snell would have cost more in a trade than the Sox gave up for Lynn; so, Hahn seems to have made the best deal available to add an experienced elite (or near elite) starter to the rotation. However, there seem to be several back of the rotation type starters out there to be had just for money and not much of that. I see good reason to add a Q or Paxon as insurance against injury or underperformance.

roke1960

In an ideal world, Cease/Lopez/Kopech admirably fill in the 4/5 spots in the rotation this year, but this is the White Sox we’re talking about. As HallofFrank said below, many things can go wrong with that and then we’re stuck again. I think another mid-tier starter as insurance is necessary for a championship-level team.
It’s the same thing for DH. Counting on Vaughn (who has not been above high-A) to be the DH is a very risky move. Adding Brantley, Schwarber or Rosario will solidify the lineup. Vaughn forcing a call-up would be a nice luxury to have.

texag10

You’re right, this is the White Sox. Adding another veteran pitcher would mean spending more money and after the Eaton signing it seems clear they don’t really want to do that.

BrianB

I believe the White Sox can make a qualifying offer to Lynn after the season. That would potentially make him more than a 1-year rental. Thoughts?

denman

Lynn received and rejected a qualifying offer from the Cardinals so he is now forever exempt. If he decides to sign elsewhere after one season, the Sox receive noting in return.

BrianB

Thanks!

dongutteridge

Lynn is from Indiana. He will be 35 for the 2021 season. I would think that if the Sox want to bring him back for another year or two they could at a reasonable price.

mikeyb

Sure, but they could have done that if they didn’t trade for him too.