Minnesota Twins: Looking at the Lance Lynn and Zach Duke trades

Minnesota Twins (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Minnesota Twins (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins /

The Minnesota Twins have officially raised the white flag and are looking toward the 2019 season.

Over the last few days, the Minnesota Twins have made a flurry of trades. Eduardo Escobar was traded to the Diamondbacks, while Ryan Pressly was shipped to the Astros recently. Yesterday, Minnesota dealt Lance Lynn and Zach Duke in separate trades further strengthening an already stellar Minor League system.

Minnesota signed both Lynn and Duke during the offseason with hopes they could help spur another postseason run. However, things have gone off the rails for the Twins and the playoffs are all but out of the question at this point.

Lynn started his Minnesota Twins career about as bad as any pitcher could. I’ve already covered his early numbers here, so I’ll spare you the disappointment. However, he has looked like the pitcher he was while pitching for the Cardinals of late and that helped Minnesota find some value in a trade.

For the season, Lynn is 7-8 with a 5.10 ERA across 20 starts. Although that ERA seems high, it’s a far cry from when he was sitting in the mid-sevens two months ago. He has 100 strikeouts averaging 5.5 walks per nine innings in 102 1/3 innings pitched. For once Twins fans should appreciate the Yankees for giving them more than a bag of baseballs for Lynn’s services.

Duke, on the other hand, has been pretty much what the Twins should have expected. He’s little more than a LOOGY at this point of his career, but he still provides a ton of value to any bullpen. Duke has been in MLB for 14 seasons and there is very little that he hasn’t witnessed happen on the mound.

Duke has a 3.62 ERA while appearing in 45 games out of the bullpen for the Twins during this season. He averages 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings with a less than stellar 3.6 walks per nine innings in 37 1/3 innings pitched. However, Duke has allowed zero home runs so far this season and that’s where his true value lies.

Duke is the type of pitcher that will come in during high-leverage situations to face a tough left-handed hitter and has excelled in this role. Usually, there will be runners on base and by not surrendering many home runs, Duke has been effective. Duke is exactly the type of pitcher that helps a contending team reach the playoffs.

Although seeing Minnesota in the position of selling off assets is disappointing for Twins fans, this won’t be the worst thing in the world. Outside of Pressly, and maybe Escobar, these players didn’t have a clear role for the future with the team. By trading these veterans, along with whoever may be next, this team is well positioned for the future. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the deals involving Lynn and Duke.