Texas Rangers open to moving SP Lance Lynn before MLB trade deadline?

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Lance Lynn
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Lance Lynn has been one of the best starters in baseball this season, now he could be one of the top players moved at the MLB trade deadline.

Lynn, the 33-year-old ace of Texas’ rotation, has been outstanding since he signed a three-year contract with the Rangers before the 2019 season. With his team now struggling in the standings, he has become one of the most coveted pitchers on the trade market.

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Rangers listening to offers on ace Lance Lynn?

Texas signed the veteran righty to a three-year, $30 million contract with the hopes he would bring stability to the rotation. He exceeded their expectations in his first year, recording a 3.67 ERA with a career-high 246 strikeouts in 208.1 innings.

Despite facing the challenges of pitching in a shortened 2020 season that started in July, Lynn has been even better this year. Across his first seven starts, he holds a 4-0 record with a spectacular 1.59 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 50 strikeouts in 45.1 innings.

Sitting eight games under .500 with a 1-9 record in their past 10 games, the Rangers are seemingly open for business with the MLB trade deadline approaching on Aug. 31. Specifically, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Texas is entertaining trade offers for Lynn.

It’s the last thing the organization likely imagined before the regular season began. The club had hopes of competing for a spot in the postseason, with that goal becoming even more realistic after MLB expanded to a 16-team format.

Unfortunately, All-Star pitcher Corey Kluber suffered a significant injury, 2019 All-Star Mike Minor has regressed and the lineup isn’t producing consistently. As a result, Lynn could now be in a new uniform by Sept. 1.

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Potential landing spots for Lance Lynn

Lynn isn’t only one of the best pitchers available at the MLB trade deadline, he’s also quite affordable. Any team that acquires him will owe him just $8 million next season, a bargain for a front-line starter.

Given Lynn’s stats, postseason experience and contract, only a few contenders will have the farm system capable of landing this talented arm. With so many teams in need of pitching, it will also provide the Rangers with leverage in negotiations.

  • New York Yankees: With James Paxton on the injured list, New York badly needs to find another front-line starter to pair with Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka. While Lynn’s short stint with the Yankees in 2018 didn’t go especially well, he has turned things around since. With pitching prospects like Deivi Garcia and Luis Gill, along with MLB-ready players in Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar, the Yankees could make a very compelling offer.
  • Atlanta Braves: Atlanta boasts one of MLB’s best farm systems and is especially deep in terms of its minor-league pitching. A package built around multiple top-10 prospects like Shea Langeliers and Kyle Muller could help the Braves land the playoff starter they desperately need.
  • Tampa Bay Rays: After losing Brendan McKay and Yonny Chirinos to season-ending surgeries, the Rays need to add another starter. Lynn would be an unbelievable addition to this rotation, joining Tyler Glasnow, Blake Snell and Charlie Morton for a quarter no other team could match.
  • Minnesota Twins: Minnesota’s rotation has helped carry them to a strong start with their hitters struggling. However, the injuries are mounting and Jose BerrĂ­os has failed to become an ace. This team is in win-now mode and has the assets, like outfielder Trevor Larnach, to pull off a blockbuster.

There will be plenty of competition for Lynn’s services leading up to the trade deadline. Given the importance pitching will paly in October, whichever team lands him could be the World Series champion.