First article for the Sports 2.0 Network and it is about the Chicago White Sox. PSA; I am a Cubs fan, but I am a baseball fan first and I like this move for the White Sox. They have a bit of the 2015 Cubs feel to them, they are loaded with young exciting talent but they are lacking in pitching. The full trade was Texas Rangers traded RHP Lance Lynn to the Chicago White Sox for RHP Dane Dunning and LHP Avery Weems.
This is the first move of several that are coming for the White Sox this offseason. Lynn slides into that number three starter role where he just eats innings and does it predominantly with fastballs (67.8% last season) which is hilarious in today’s game (in 2015 he threw 85% fastballs for the Cardinals).
The top of that rotation turns into Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, and Lance Lynn. The best part about that top three is that all three of those guys couldn’t be more different. Giolito has elite stuff (mid-high 90s fastball, hammer curve), Keuchel is a soft throwing lefty who is a ground ball machine, and Lance Lynn just says come hit my fastball. Plus Dylan Cease and possibly Michael Kopech depending on health round out the rotation and those are two exciting young arms with big stuff.
This lengthens out that rotation and this allows them to stop letting Reynaldo Lopez start baseball games in the Major League. Lopez has nice stuff but he has some Carson Fulmer fatigue for me, just let him go blow 100 out of the bullpen and see what happens.
What Does Lance Lynn Mean for the White Sox?
Like I mentioned above, this is one of many moves that I think Rick Hahn will set in motion this offseason. They signed Adam Eaton today which I don’t love, but they needed a left-handed hitting outfielder to somewhat even out all of the righties that they have. I don’t love the move, but it makes the most sense if you look at their outfield.
Luis Robert is your everyday centerfielder so signing George Springer doesn’t fit because he is right-handed and Robert is a gold glove contender probably every year until he takes his glove off. Adam Engel is a good defender with some speed that had a good year at the plate last season, BUT he has been a horrible hitter every year except last year.
Adding a Bench Bat
They may grab a bench bat as well but the bulk of what should be coming is pitching depth. You have Kopech coming back from Tommy Johns and ideally, they don’t start Lopez anymore. For a 162 game season, they will need some depth. They have a few guys in AAA that could get some innings, but they should go out and sign Foster Griffin to a minor league deal for some depth anyway.
He was a former Royals prospect who at 25 years old could probably use a change of scenery after struggling a bit in the minors for them. Maybe go sign a Taijuan Walker who is coming off of a good year with the Mariners and Blue Jays. He could be a long term contract for cheaper money and he is only 28 years old.
The bullpen needs some serious help as well. Codi Heur was really good in his first big league season as well as Garrett Crochet (he is injured with a flexor strain right now). Shane Greene would be a guy they could bring into the mix to pitch the 8th or 9th inning and relievers are probably going to be cheap signs this offseason given how many guys are free agents.
Brad Peacock is a guy who only threw an inning and a third last season with Houston, but could be a candidate for a minor league deal to prove that he can make the club. He is a swingman type guy out of the pen who can really pitch in any role including starting some games so he adds depth in a lot of places.
If they aren’t interested in bringing back Alex Colome who was really good last season as your closer, then they should look to go big and go pay Liam Hendricks 2 years $30 million.
That is your Lance Lynn trade thoughts and mini season outlook from a Cubs fan on the other team in Chicago.