The Minnesota Twins are once again strengthening their pitching staff. This time in the form of former St. Louis Cardinals starter Lance Lynn.
The Minnesota Twins front office has been extremely busy this offseason. Not only has there been plenty of rumors about the players the team didn’t land. The Twins did also actually acquire seven players including Michael Pineda, Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke, Addison Reed, Anibal Sanchez, Jake Odorizzi, and Logan Morrison. Add to the list number eight, Lance Lynn.
News started to break Saturday afternoon that the Twins were close to and later agreed to sign former St. Louis Cardinal right-hander Lance Lynn to a one year, $12 million dollar deal.
The Twins will also give up their third draft pick in the upcoming MLB draft along with the contract to sign Lynn. Considering the Twins have added a lot of quality depth over the past year to their farm system that is an absorbable price to pay. Especially for a team that seems primed to win now and capitalize on a weakened division outside of the Cleveland Indians.
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Lynn certainly fortifies the Twins rotation with one more solid starter. He now likely joins Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, and Kyle Gibson in the Twins Opening Day four-man rotation. That rotation will only be further strengthened as Ervin Santana likely returns right around the time the rotation will need to increase to become a five-man unit. Not to mention there is the prospect of Trevor May‘s return from injury this season to improve the pitching staff. There are also young pitchers like Stephen Gonsalves and Fernando Romero looking ready to make the jump to the big leagues.
Lynn will bring the near certainty of 180 or more innings this season. He will also help improve another concern of the Twins pitching, striking batters out. As Ted Schwerzler pointed out on Twitter, Lynn and Odorizzi are two pitchers who pitched a K/9 above 7.1 and 25 or more starts. The Twins had only one such pitcher last season, Berrios.
Our own Martin Schlegel brought out an interesting point as well on Twitter. Lynn has actually gotten better results as he has moved through the lineup from the first to third time through.
The Twins got significantly better today in their rotation. You can almost argue that by mid-season they should have four starters who have the ability to be their number one starter. There may not be an “ace” on this staff yet, with Berrios’ development being the most likely path to one, but the rotation is much deeper than the Twins 2017 version.
Do keep an eye out for a corresponding move as the Twins will need to remove someone from the 40 man roster. Best guess would have to be Kennys Vargas or Anibal Sanchez may be looking for new teams soon. Be excited Twins fans! The front office is doing a great job of assembling a very talented roster this season. Opening Day can’t come soon enough.