Texas Rangers Rumors: Minnesota Twins Join Chase for Lance Lynn
By Kenneth Nash
The market for Lance Lynn continues to heat up with the Minnesota Twins reportedly joining the hunt for the Texas Rangers ace.
Yesterday was the first day of the MLB Trade Deadline period where it felt like we started to see concrete rumors flow. Lance Lynn, the ace of the Texas Rangers’ rotation, was linked with a handful of teams directly going beyond the prior links based purely on fit. Fast forward to Sunday and the rumor mill is churning at full speed with Lynn one of the hottest names floating around the Twitter-sphere. On Sunday morning, Jon Morosi of MLB.com linked Lynn with a new club that hadn’t been mentioned much previously, the Minnesota Twins.
The Twins join the mix for Lynn alongside fellow AL Central rival, the Chicago White Sox, a positive development for the Rangers. Both teams are in the heat of a very tight playoff race where both clubs are within 1.5 games of the division-leading Indians. It seems likely that adding a pitcher of Lynn’s caliber is the difference between one of these clubs snagging a playoff spot via the division and the other having to duke it out in the AL Wild Card. Not only would adding Lynn to your staff make you better but it would keep him away from your competitor. That fight is a good sign for Jon Daniels.
The Twins feature a solid starting rotation headlined by offseason acquisition Kenta Maeda. However, solid rotation in the AL Central still lands you behind the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox in terms of overall starter production. Lynn can change that and would likely help Minnesota surpass at least Chicago in terms of top of the rotation production.
Lynn, as referenced on multiple occasions, has been arguably the most valuable starter in the AL since 2019 with an 8.1 fWAR that trails only Jacob DeGrom among MLB pitchers. So far this year, Lynn sits tied with Zack Greinke and Kenta Maeda for 7th in the league in pitching fWAR at 1.4 and is top five among MLB starters in ERA, BABIP and opponents’ BA.
Considering Lynn also has another year under contract at a bargain of $8 million, he sits atop the league, likely alongside Mike Clevinger, as the most attractive starters available ahead of Monday’ trade deadline. He would provide the Twins, or any suitor, with frontline starter production through the 2021 season at middle of the rotation cost.
Any deal for Lynn is sure to be a hefty one in terms of trade package headed to Arlington. The Twins have Royce Lewis atop their prospect charts but it is HIGHLY unlikely that they would consider moving him. However below Lewis, Minnesota has a pair of left-handed hitters in Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach who would no doubt catch the Rangers’ eye.
Larnach would be the player I see Texas pushing for as a productive bat that could fit at a corner outfield spot. Texas is likely to have a vacancy in left field moving forward and Larnach provides an effective bat, with both power and consistency, that could also produce average defensive results at the position. Beyond Larnach and Kirilloff, the Twins have a couple of pitchers in Jhoan Duran and Jordan Balazovic that would likely draw Texas’ interest. I could also see Texas looking at shortstop Wander Javier signed for big international money in 2015 but hasn’t quite been healthy enough to live up to expectations.