The Chicago White Sox bolstered their rotation in a Winter Meetings trade by acquiring right-handed starter Lance Lynn from the Rangers, the teams announced Tuesday. Right-handed pitcher Dane Dunning and lefty Avery Weems are headed to the Rangers as part of the deal.
Lynn, 33, has finished in the top six of AL Cy Young voting each of the past two years with the Rangers. In 13 starts last season, he was 6-3 with a 3.32 ERA (136 ERA+), 1.06 WHIP and 89 strikeouts in an MLB-best 84 innings. A true workhorse, Lynn was second in WAR among pitchers in 2019 and third in 2020.
The White Sox had a breakout season in 2020 and are looking to go to the next level with a deep playoff run in 2021. Lynn will be a big part of that puzzle. Along with ace Lucas Giolito and former Cy Young winning lefty Dallas Keuchel, that's a nice top three in the rotation in front of high-upside arms Dylan Cease and possibly Michael Kopech.
What's the Fantasy Baseball impact of the Lance Lynn trade? CBS Sports expert Scott White says Dane Dunning might be helped the most.
The Rangers' return here also has big upside. Dunning, 25, was the Nationals' first-round pick out of the University of Florida in 2016. He went to the White Sox with Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez in the Adam Eaton trade in December of 2016. Dunning debuted at the big-league level this past season and ended up making seven starts. He went 2-0 with a 3.97 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 35 strikeouts in 34 innings. He was a consensus top-100 prospect in baseball before last season.
Lynn is set to make just $9.33 million this season before hitting free agency. He's both an incredible bargain -- if he continues to pitch like he did the last two seasons -- and a risk with just one year of control left for the White Sox. The biggest takeaway here is that it shows how serious the White Sox are about 2021. They are clearly going for it, and for that they are to be commended with so many other teams more worried about shedding salary.