Dodgers Acquire Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly In Five-Player Trade With White Sox


Image credit: Lance Lynn (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

The Dodgers continued to load up at the deadline with their third trade in four days on Friday afternoon.

The Dodgers acquired veteran righthanders Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly from the White Sox in exchange for pitching prospects Nick Nastrini and Jordan Leasure and veteran outfielder Trayce Thompson.

The Dodgers simultaneously address their needs for help in both the rotation and bullpen with the deal, while the White Sox continue their teardown two days after trading Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez to the Angels.


Nick Nastrini, RHP
Age: 23

Nastrini ranked as the Dodgers’ No. 10 prospect in the updated BA Midseason Top 30 rankings. He is a strong, physical 6-foot-3, 215-pound righthander with a power four-pitch mix but below-average control. Nastrini’s fastball ranges from 93-96 mph with late tail and has touched higher in the past. His primary secondary pitch is an above-average, vertical slider in the upper 80s that gets swings and misses over the top, and his 12-to-6, power curveball with late bite in the low 80s has progressed into an average pitch. His fading mid-80s changeup is an above-average offering that effectively neutralizes lefties. Nastrini has plenty of stuff, but he has long struggled with his control. His tempo and mechanics in his delivery are inconsistent and he struggles with walks and deep counts. He posted a middling 4.03 ERA in 17 starts at Double-A Tulsa with 85 strikeouts and 37 walks in 73.2 innings. He completed six innings just once this season, largely due to issues controlling his pitch count. Nastrini has the stuff to be a mid-rotation starter but must become more consistent with his delivery and improve his control to fulfill his potential. He’ll open his White Sox career at Double-A Birmingham.

Jordan Leasure, RHP
Age: 24

A 14th-round pick out of Tampa in 2021, Leasure did not rank as one of the Dodgers Top 30 Prospects but was in the midst of a breakout season at Double-A Tulsa. He went 2-2, 3.09 with nine saves and had 56 strikeouts and 16 walks in 35 innings as the Drillers’ closer. Leasure is a power reliever with a 95-98 mph fastball and a hard 87-90 mph slider. He throws both pitches for strikes and gets swings and misses both in and out of the zone with them. Leasure pitches exclusively from the stretch and doesn’t have a third pitch, so he is exclusively a reliever with no substantial history of starting, even in college. He has a chance to pitch in high-leverage relief and could join the White Sox’s bullpen quickly.

Trayce Thompson, OF
Age: 32

Thompson was drafted by the White Sox in 2009 and made his major league debut with them before being dealt to the Dodgers after the 2015 season. He entered this year expected to be a righthanded platoon complement to James Outman in center field for the Dodgers, but he hit just .155 with a 43% strikeout rate in that limited role before going on the injured list with a severe oblique strain in early June. Thompson is on the 60-day injured list and doesn’t have much to offer the White Sox offensively when he returns. He’s an athletic defender whose ability to play all three outfield positions could help their abysmal defense.


Lance Lynn, RHP
Age: 36

Lynn has struggled to a 6-9, 6.47 mark in 21 starts this season and allowed an American League-high 130 hits and 28 home runs for the White Sox. He still showed the ability to miss bats with 145 strikeouts and 45 walks in 119.2 innings this year, but that was often interspersed with too many mistakes left over the heart of the plate. The Dodgers are banking their coaches, combined with moving out of hitter-friendly Guaranteed Rate Field and playing in front of a better defense, can help him improve in Los Angeles. He has been durable even amidst his struggles and should help an injury-plagued Dodgers rotation that desperately needs someone who can eat innings. He will be a free agent after this season.

Joe Kelly, RHP
Age: 35

Kelly returns for a second stint with the Dodgers after being one of their top relievers from 2019-21. He went 1-5, 4.97 in 31 appearances with the White Sox this season but showed strong peripherals with 12.7 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9. Kelly is a groundball pitcher who should benefit from playing in front of a better defense with the Dodgers than he did with the White Sox. He will slide into a mid-to-late relief role with the Dodgers and is under contract through the end of this season. He has a $9.5 million team option with a $1 million buyout for 2024.

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