Late Monday night, news broke that the White Sox achieved one of their offseason goals by acquiring a veteran starter in Texas Rangers right-hander Lance Lynn.
In return, the Sox sent Dane Dunning and an unnamed prospect to Texas, who showed promise in 2020 as a young starter for the Sox. He had a 2-0 record and a 3.97 ERA over seven starts in 2020 and looked to possibly be a member of the rotation over the long term.
Meanwhile, the 33-year-old Lynn comes to Chicago with one-year remaining on his deal, but not terribly expensive at $9.3 million. What he brings to the Sox is a consistent track record, but he’s not flashy. He figures to slot into the middle of the rotation after Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel.
In 2020, Lynn posted a 6-3 record with a 3.32 ERA over 13 starts (84.0 IP) for a Rangers team that finished last in the AL West at 22-38. He’ll buy the Sox a little time while some of the younger talented arms in the Sox system mature and grow into reliable big-league starters.
Of further interest, he won a World Series title back in 2011 while with the St. Louis Cardinals, who were managed by….. Tony La Russa!
All La Russa connections aside, it’ll be beneficial to the Sox to have yet another player with World Series experience on the roster. And the move signals their intent to win it all in 2021.
Part of the reason the Sox were bounced from the playoffs early in 2020 was the lack of a reliable 3rd starter behind Giolito and Keuchel, and Lynn’s acquisition eases those concerns. There’s still questions about the 4th and 5th starter spots and how well Dylan Cease and Michael Kopech fill those spots. Their success will go a long way to determining if the Sox get to the top of the mountain in 2021.
There are still holes to be addressed this offseason, notably in right field and DH, but starting pitching depth topped that list. The acquisition of Lance Lynn fills that hole and gives the White Sox a championship-caliber starting rotation for 2021.