TODAY: The White Sox and Rangers have officially announced the trade.
10:59pm: The White Sox are acquiring right-hander Lance Lynn from the Rangers, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Righty Dane Dunning is heading to Texas in the return, Jeff Passan of ESPN tweets. The Rangers will also receive a second player, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. It’ll be another young pitcher, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.
This is a major pickup for the White Sox, who are landing one of the most coveted arms on the trade market. Lynn was an innings-eating stalwart with the Cardinals for a large portion of 2011-17. Lynn then signed a one-year, $12MM contract with the Twins, and though he didn’t fare especially well with the club, he rebounded after a second-half trade to the Yankees and has continued to hold his own since then.
Lynn signed a three-year, $30MM guarantee with the Rangers before 2019, and that deal worked out brilliantly for the club. He posted a terrific 3.57 ERA/3.43 FIP with 10.31 K/9 and 2.59 BB/9 in 292 1/3 innings as a member of the team. The 33-year-old could have continued to serve as an asset for the Rangers’ rotation next season, but with the Rangers in a rebuild, president of baseball operations Jon Daniels and new general manager Chris Young elected to go in a different direction.
At one year and $8MM, Lynn will give Chicago – which is coming off its first playoff berth since 2008 – an affordable and effective No. 3 to plug into its rotation behind Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel. The White Sox also have Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez in line to compete for starting spots next year.
Considering the Rangers appear unlikely to vie for a playoff spot next year, their return looks good for one season of Lynn’s services.
Dunning, who will turn 26 later this month, is a former first-round pick and an an ex-top 100 prospect who is coming off an encouraging debut with the White Sox. Chicago originally acquired Dunning (not to mention Giolito and Lopez) from the Nationals for outfielder Adam Eaton in December 2016.
Dunning underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019, but he garnered his first experience in the majors a year ago and posted a 3.97 ERA/3.99 FIP with 9.28 K/9 and 3.44 BB/9 in 34 innings. Texas is certainly hoping Dunning will build on that effort and become a long-term member of its rotation. He’ll have ample time to reach that goal, as he’s controllable through at least the 2026 season. Given Lynn’s status as a one-year rental, adding an immediate rotation replacement with some early big league success and a good bit of upside is a nice outcome for Texas.
The Rangers also have high hopes for the 23-year-old Weems, a 2019 sixth-rounder who threw 60 1/3 innings in rookie ball that year. While Weems posted stellar numbers then (2.09 ERA, 11.0 K/9 against 1.5 BB/9), albeit against much younger competition, he is not regarded as a premium prospect at this time. He’ll give the Rangers another fairly polished college arm to add to their ranks, however, which is important for a farm system that is thin on pitching.
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