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Lance Lynn Trade: The New South Side Hero

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The Chicago White Sox got off to a fast start Monday night at the MLB Winter Meetings. They bolstered their starting rotation by making a deal that involved Lance Lynn and the South Siders sent one of their top pitching prospects, Dane Dunning, to the Rangers.

Breaking Down the Lance Lynn Trade

Lance Lynn was talked about as a possible addition to a pitching staff in need of a veteran starter. While the White Sox have promising young pitchers, like Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, and Garret Crochet, they were lacking a veteran presence. This was especially apparent in the 2020 playoffs when they were forced to go with a bullpen game in a deciding game and a veteran like Lance Lynn fills this hole on the Chicago staff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDO4oURf47I

The move by GM Rick Hahn is a signal to Sox fans, as well as other teams, that the White Sox are serious about winning now. Hahn has spent the last four years undergoing a complete rebuild, which started with the trade of star pitcher Chris Sale, but now, the pieces are falling in place for a team that has struggled over the last decade.

Lance Lynn Trade – the Upside

Without question, the White Sox needed an experienced starting pitcher and Lance Lynn brings a wealth of experience to the South Side. The well-traveled right-hander has a career ERA of 3.57, with a WHIP of 1.290. He also has a K/BB ratio of 2.67, which is solid for a middle-of-the-rotation starter. He will also eat up innings, which will relieve the stress on a bullpen that was overused in 2020. With this Lance Lynn trade, it will clearly be an upgrade over the young pitchers the Sox ran out to the mound in 2020.

Lynn has also appeared in 26 postseason games, which is critical and is much needed on the South Side. While his postseason numbers are not overly impressive, the experience should be a benefit to the young starters still learning the ropes and hopefully, he will also provide leadership to the pitching staff.

Lance Lynn Trade – the Downside

With this Lance Lynn trade, the main negative is he is on a one-year contract. He will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2021 season. This will absolutely be viewed negatively by some Sox fans, especially when they are giving up a promising young arm. That is a natural reaction by a fan base that has watched many young players develop in the minor leagues. Now that the time has come for Dunning to begin his MLB career, the Sox ship him out the door.

This aspect of the Lance Lynn trade can also be seen as a positive sign. It is a sign that the Sox are taking the next step in the process, and are intent on being serious contenders now. For Sox fans, this should show that the rebuild is in the rear-view mirror, and it is time to contend. Smart fans also must realize that trades need to be beneficial for both teams. You have to give up something to get something.

Lance Lynn Trade: What the Sox Gave Up

Dane Dunning is a right-handed starter who will turn 26 this month. The former first-round pick of the Nationals has been one of the White Sox’s highly touted prospects since coming over in the Adam Eaton trade after the 2016 season. He made his MLB debut during the 2020 season and posted an ERA of 3.97 over 34 innings.

While some viewed Dunning as a piece for the future, the White Sox are in win-now mode. Dunning may or may not turn out to an exceptional starter; he may also be no more than an average pitcher, but with young, inexperienced pitchers, teams can never be sure of their future. The decision to trade a potential future asset for a proven arm now makes sense for a contender.

Lance Lynn Trade: Is There More to Come?

The addition of Lance Lynn should be a big deal to the White Sox as they seek to challenge the likes of the Yankees in the American League. His experience will help bring stability to the rotation, but also, is his addition alone is enough to put the Sox over the top? Are there more deals to be made by Rick Hahn? Could the White Sox really be an elite team? Sox fans would be wise to stay tuned, as you never know what the Sox will do next.

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Mike Fisk is a lifelong baseball fan. For him, there is nothing like being at a baseball game, with the sights, the sounds, the smells. Writing about baseball is a bonus!