The Minnesota Twins are apparently thinking of bringing back an old friend at the MLB trade deadline to solve their rotation woes, but the question is…why?
The Minnesota Twins are still trying to find arms to help their pitching staff as we move closer to Wednesday’s MLB trade deadline. With some potential targets being bogged down with crazy demands, the Twins may have to look beyond the spotlight to acquire someone to help their rotation.
While it was reported over the weekend that the Twins were interested in the services of Mike Minor, Twins Daily’s John Bonnes also put out a report that said the Twins are considering Lance Lynn year old as a “low-cost” option. Although he also mentioned that acquiring Lynn would be a public relations nightmare, it might be closer to reality than you would think.
At first thought, the idea of acquiring Lynn from the Rangers would give Twins fans PTSD from his 2018 performance. Lynn had a disastrous stint in Minnesota as he posted a 5.10 ERA and a staggering 1.63 WHIP in 102 1/3 innings. After the Twins traded Lynn to the New York Yankees in exchange for Tyler Austin and Luis Rijo, he calmed down, but not enough to be an impact player as the Yankees marched to the playoffs.
Lynn would hit the open market last winter and signed a three-year, $30 million contract with Texas that made Twins fans chuckle, but he’s made the most of his time with the Rangers. Lynn is currently tied for the American League lead with 13 wins and has posted a 13-6 record with a 3.83 ERA, a 2.94 FIP and a 1.22 WHIP in 141 innings. He also has 160 strikeouts, which would currently lead the team. In fact, that would be Bonnes’ main reason for bringing him aboard.
"“[Lynn] has posted a 3.93 ERA and a 3.00 FIP while pitching in one of MLB’s tougher parks,” Bonnes said in his report. “That’s good for an ERA+ of 129. That’s a better ERA+ than any of the Twins pitchers other than Jose Berrios. That’s a lower FIP than anyone on the Twins staff. And he’s thrown more innings than anyone in the Twins rotation, too. This is not the Lance Lynn you remember.”"
While it would be tough to get last year’s Lynn out of fans’ heads, there are a couple of factors that could have played into his tough time in Minnesota. Not being in an MLB camp right away after waiting until late-March of 2018 to sign could have robbed him of some early conditioning work which helped him get off to a slow start with the Twins.
You should also remember that the Twins were pretty bad throughout the first couple of months of the 2018 season. While many people were quick to point to his sour demeanor on the mound and in the clubhouse, it’s a legitimate question whether you would be happy playing for the Twins one year ago.
Lynn’s contract situation, which also has him locked up through 2021, could also appeal to the Twins with Kyle Gibson, Martin Perez, Michael Pineda and Jake Odorizzi all hitting free agency after this season. The flipside to this is that if the old Lynn returns, the Twins have to slog through two more years of what they had enough of after four months last season.
In the end, it will likely come down to cost. If the Twins take Lynn on with relatively low risk, they get a steady option with playoff experience. If they have to pay up with some higher-end prospects, the Twins probably say no. It’s the type of risk and reward that goes on during this point of the season and it could be one that could land Lynn back in a Twins uniform in the coming days.