The White Sox acquired right-hander Lance Lynn in a trade with the Texas Rangers, the team announced Tuesday, bolstering Chicago’s rotation with a veteran who led the major leagues in innings pitched this year.
Lynn, 33, was perhaps the most prized pitcher on the trade market and cost the White Sox 25-year-old right-hander Dane Dunning, who goes to Texas along with left-handed pitching prospect Avery Weems.
Chicago had targeted a starting pitcher to accompany the emergent Lucas Giolito and former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, both of whom excelled this past season as the White Sox made their first postseason appearance since 2008. The White Sox had been discussing a Sonny Gray deal with the Cincinnati Reds but pivoted toward Lynn. Although they lost their wild-card series to Oakland, the White Sox, with a young core that surrounds reigning American League MVP Jose Abreu, expect to enter 2021 as the AL Central favorites.
“I was excited when [I] saw what this team was able to do, and now be a part of it. I like to win and I look forward to having that opportunity,” Lynn said during his media availability Tuesday. “Hopefully I can be a good piece that can push this team forward for a playoff run.”
The trade also reunites Lynn with his former skipper in St. Louis, Hall of Famer Tony La Russa, who came out of retirement to replace Rick Renteria as White Sox manager.
“I’m reunited with Tony La Russa, who I had when I was a rookie,” Lynn said. “That was 10 years ago and we won the World Series, so hopefully 10 years later we can do the same. That would be exciting.”
With one year and $8 million remaining on his contract, Lynn was a cost-efficient option that the Rangers, who are rebuilding, leveraged into a pitcher in Dunning, who debuted this season after recovering from Tommy John surgery and looked like he could develop into a mid-rotation stalwart.
In 2020, Lynn was more. Until a poor final start ballooned his ERA by more than three-quarters of a point, he was the favorite to finish second in AL Cy Young voting behind the unanimous winner, Shane Bieber. In 84 innings, Lynn struck out 89 batters, walked 25 and held hitters to a .204 batting average. He did, however, allow 13 home runs, a number that was alarming, considering that he pitched at the Rangers’ spacious Globe Life Field.
Slotting a pitcher of Lynn’s caliber behind Giolito and Keuchel is nevertheless a coup for the White Sox, who continue to seek offensive help with a lineup that includes Abreu, Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez, among others.
Chicago has sought left-handed outfield bats on the free-agent market, sources said.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers contributed to this report.
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