The MLB hot stove has started to cook with a recent report the Chicago White Sox are interested in Texas Rangers’ ace, Lance Lynn.
Lance Lynn was certain to be a hot name at the MLB Trade Deadline this season. However, the Texas Rangers right-hander’s name was only thrown around as somebody that clubs would be interested in and not really concretely linked to teams despite Texas’ willingness to listen. That changed Saturday morning when Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported that the Chicago White Sox were in the market for starting pitching and considering Lynn as a primary option.
Lynn has been dominant this season and to see a contender like the White Sox interested in him is no surprise. A legitimate candidate for the AL Cy Young award, Lynn has held opponents to two runs or less in his first seven starts this season. His 1.59 ERA is among the best in baseball as is his .155 batting average against. He ranks second among pitchers, first in the AL, for fWAR since the start of the 2019 season at 8.1 trailing only Jacob DeGrom.
In the past season and a half, Lynn has gone from solid, middle of the rotation starter, to a solidified ace and a pitcher among the best the MLB has to offer. As is well-documented, Lynn also carries value for potential buyers because he is under contract through the 2021 season at under $10 million, an incredibly team friendly deal.
The White Sox rotation has been fairly good this season with a 3.1 fWAR combined, the fifth highest in baseball. They have a team ERA of 3.65 among starters thanks in large part to Dallas Keuchel and Lucas Giolito who have been stellar at the top of their rotation this year. Adding Lynn would give them one of the best starter trios in the league and make them a legitimate contender in the AL.
They currently sit tied with the Cleveland Indians atop the AL Central, both teams a half game up on the Twins. It’s a tight race, but Chicago has been building for awhile to go hard at a postseason run and Lynn would help give them an edge for the next two playoffs.
If the White Sox did lineup for the Texas Rangers in a trade, Texas would no doubt ask a hefty price. That’s been sort of the word attached to Lynn rumors is that the Rangers want a haul for their prized starter. The White Sox top young players are surely off limits so those dreaming of Andrew Vaughn or Nick Madrigal can probably readjust their hopes.
Michael Kopech is still seen as the most talented arm in the organization and Garrett Crochet and Jared Kelley were both 2020 draft picks making them ineligible to be traded. But Chicago does have a next group of starters they might consider parting with in a Lynn trade. The duo of Jonathan Stiever and Dane Dunning would be of interest to Texas. Both are probably a year away from being legitimate rotation contributors at the big leagues but Dunning made his MLB debut earlier this season with Chicago.
On the position side of things, the White Sox have outfielder Micker Adolfo who is nearing the big leagues. The right-handed hitter has a big bat and a bigger arm which could add some much needed future power to the Rangers lineup. Because the White Sox system has so many players that are in the untouchable range, the Texas Rangers likely would ask for a pair or even a trio including some of the available names listed above.
Among the teams that make sense for Lynn, Chicago doesn’t line up as well for Texas in terms of prospect talent but they do make more sense than others as a motivated buyer.