White Sox sign Lance Lynn to two-year extension

You’ll often hear players and executives say that, at the end of a day, baseball is a business. The reason both sides have to issue that reminder is that people are on both sides of the equation, and sometimes relationships drive the economics.

Case in point: Lance Lynn, who was set to become a free agent at the end of the season, and set himself up for a major payday by making the All-Star team thanks to the league’s best ERA. Nobody would’ve blamed him if he wanted to test the open market, and it would’ve been hard to blame the White Sox if they couldn’t persuade him otherwise, regardless of how badly their rotation they needed his beefy ballast.

But it also became clear as Lynn heaved, grunted and bellowed to immense success and customer satisfaction from start to start, that nobody could question the fit. And if Lynn truly wanted to test the market, he wouldn’t have gone as far as he had in flattering the fan base.

“I think that some of my things that I do on the mound really sit well with the South Siders,” Lynn said Monday in Minnesota. “You can tell when I come out and warm up for games and stuff like that. They are yelling at me and like some of the things that are not the nicest things that I like to say but they just kind of come out when I compete.

“It’s definitely fun to play in front of those fans, and they enjoy the attitude that I bring, too.” […]

“Living in the suburbs of (the) Indianapolis area, the South Side has a tendency to be a little bit more of a home feeling for me than any other place I’ve played. I’m really enjoying it.”

Sure enough, Lynn and the White Sox agreed to a two-year, $38 million contract extension, with an $18 million team option for 2024. The contract locks in Lynn for the next two years at $18.5 million apiece, and should the White Sox not want to continue the relationship, they’ll pay him a $1 million buyout.If Lynn ages gracefully into 2024, the contract will be three years and $55 million. If those numbers sound familiar, it’s because those are the terms I threw out in a post speculating about a Lynn extension more than a month ago

But there’s no reason to dwell on that yet, so let’s project a positive outcome where Lynn makes it three strong years in a row. A contract figure that comes to mind is three years, $55 million.

THAT is how much sense it made.

(Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports)

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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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jhomeslice

Holy crap, I am shocked! What an awesome and totally unexpected move. I almost cannot believe. Was there an ownership change that I missed?

jhomeslice

True. Great call/prediction by the way though. It’s still great news, about as good as we’re going to get.

Joliet Orange Sox

I’m going to give Hahn some credit here for the Dunning-Lynn trade. I agree the Sox would be unlikely to sign Lynn on the open market so acquiring him in that trade made him much much more likely to be signed. That trade was a debatable move (that I favored) when it was five years of Dunning for one year of Lynn but I think looks like a really good move as 5 years of Dunning for (up to) four years of Lynn.

I wish the Sox would be the potential winner in bidding wars so I didn’t have to think this way. The Wheeler pursuit is really the only example of the Sox going really high for a player with many suitors.

lifelongjd

Great point. Hahn caught some flak for potentially giving up too much, but I felt it was a great and fair deal at the time and feel even better about it now. The results speak for themselves and he has been an excellent leader for the younger pitchers. Plus, Who knows where this team would be without the Big Fella.

asinwreck

If Lynn ages gracefully into 2024, the contract will be three years and $55 million. If those numbers sound familiar, it’s because those are the terms I threw out in a post speculating about a Lynn extension more than a month ago

If Jim has been working undercover as Assistant GM these past few weeks, I am now far more optimistic about the future of the White Sox.

raylewis67

Hey Jim, do you mind speculating a raise my employer may give me soon?

LuBob DuRob

Great news! Looking forward to being dazzled by his command of his multiplicity of fastballs for the next few years.

joe blow

They chose the right guy to extend. Let’s see if Rodon can duplicate his 2021 success without Ethan Katz. Boras will compare Rodon to de Grom….good luck to his next team

Brett R. Bobysud

Personally, I hope Rodon does get paid this off-season, no matter who’s anteing up.

jhomeslice

You have to assume their plan is for Kopech to slot into the rotation next year, which would make keeping Rodon pretty unlikely. I love his comeback and story, but seems too much of an injury risk for an expensive gamble by the Sox, though I’m sure some team will take a risk.

Malkatraz

Next season is a long ways away, but Kopech has only thrown 35+ innings this season. Kopech has thrown 49+ MLB innings the past 4 years.

He will be on an innings limit next year too. The plan should be to not expect a major contribution.

jhomeslice

I had assumed not only that Lynn would be gone, but that he might realistically wind up with the Yankees or Astros. A team friendly deal to say the least, even if he shows any age the next couple seasons. Great news.

dwjm3

The other nice aspect of this is Hahn can go into this off-season focused on right field. The rotation for next year is largely put together.

Milky✌️

What’s not to like about this? Right amount of time and very reasonable amount of money to a guy who frankly feels like he’s always belonged here. More or less completes the top 5 for the rest of this window. Let’s hope this frees them up to address the other areas of need this offseason (if not the trade deadline)

jhomeslice

I agree, there is nothing not to like about this deal. I doubt there is going to be much disagreement on here about that.

soxygen

Love this! He is so Sox that it always felt like it would happen…and sure enough it did.

jhomeslice

Hope this leads to a good game tonight vs Houston. The players will probably be pretty fired up about this as well. Now if Hahn can just get them some bullpen help.

rodney

Well I think this makes up for the years of lost control in the Dunning deal to get Lance, that so many people were upset about, at the time…..Don’t know how GREAT DANE is doing, but, great deal!

mikeyb

Absolutely fantastic news. I’ve been desperate for the Sox to make a move to add a position player before the deadline, but if you had told me I could only have a Lynn extension or a trade upgrade, I would have taken this in a heartbeat!

Foulkelore

Awesome! The number one thing they had to do this offseason was find a way to bring back one of Lynn or Rodon, and Lynn always seemed more realistic.

jhomeslice

Yeah, really changes the whole outlook of the future of this team for the next couple years. I didn’t even want to think about their alternatives in the FA market to replace Lynn.

TylerDurden

Great setup for our rotation next year. Kopech should slide right in. Looks good.

Now who plays right field?
Do we trade Jake Burger for a right fielder in the offseason? Maybe in a package.

WHITESOX_RIGHT_SOX

I don’t know where he fits in the lineup equation going forward when all is healthy, but I sure hope Burger is not traded. I haven’t looked at advanced metrics or anything on him. Eye test looks really promising from the few games I’ve seen of him play on the big club. Good and rare problem the Sox org will have on their hands when the lineup is healthy. Will be fun to see what this group can do when fully healthy ????

calcetinesblancos

You had to wonder if a pitcher old as Lynn would actually turn down guaranteed money if offered. But this is a great deal for the Sox, wow. Hahn is a very proactive GM, and it’s benefited us tremendously.