3. RHP Lance Lynn
Indeed, another new face comes in behind Santana and Cole. That is, former Cardinals starter Lance Lynn.
After much debate, I gave in to the idea the Twins add two big pieces to the starting rotation. Of course, I’m not convinced this may happen, especially if Minnesota acquired someone like Cole via trade. Yet, it may be a smart move to make in the grand scheme of things.
First and foremost, the best teams in the league usually throw out three or four quality starters and have a great chance of coming out on top regardless of who’s on the mound. With Lynn, the Twins have four quality starters who they can throw out against anyone and in turn, give them a great opportunity to win. Not to mention, they have four starters they can rely upon come playoff time when it counts the most.
Secondly, Ervin Santana is coming into the last season of his contract, although there is a club option for 2019. In other words, signing a starter like Lynn gives Minnesota a long-term option in the rotation who won’t cost nearly as much as the top options on the market. Most predict he’ll receive a deal around four years, $50 million, although the market could drive that price up. Even so, the Twins don’t have to break the bank on a pitcher like they would with top free agent pitchers Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta.
Finally, Lynn is simply a quality starting pitcher. For his career, he’s 72-47 with a 3.38 ERA, starting in at least 31 games the last four seasons. He may not boast the kind of stuff that Gerrit Cole has, but he gets the job done. Arguably his worst season came in 2013, a year he went 15-10 with a 3.97 ERA in 201.2 innings, so that goes to show just how consistent he’s been over his career.
Overall, he’s a great fit at the top or middle of the Twins rotation and comes at a reasonable price given his track record of success.