White Sox Trade For Lance Lynn, Send Rangers 2 Pitching Prospects
On what would have been the first day of the Winter Meetings, the White Sox swung a trade with the Rangers to bolster an already-strong rotation.
Lynn, who has one year left on a three-year, $30 million deal, went 6-3, 3.32 last year and also provides durability. He pitched 208.1 innings in 2019 and led the majors with 84 innings in 2020. He’ll slot into a rotation that features Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel and should also welcome back 2018 upstart Michael Kopech.
The Rangers, meanwhile, get two well-regarded pitching prospects to help bolster their nascent rebuilding effort.
WHITE SOX ACQUIRE
Lance Lynn, RHP
Lynn has finished in the top six of the AL Cy Young voting in each of the last two seasons. His signature pitch is a four-seam fastball which averaged 94 mph in 2020 and played as one of the most effective of its kind. The four-seamer was ranked by StatCast’s run value as the third best in the game, behind only Jacob deGrom and new teammate Lucas Giolito—a pair of all-stars. He’ll give an already-excellent rotation even more of a boost as the White Sox try to pick up where they left off in 2020 and make a deeper run toward their first pennant since 2005.
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Dane Dunning, RHP
Dunning ranked as the White Sox's No. 4 prospect. He was originally drafted in the first round by the Nationals in 2016 and was traded to the Chicago with Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez in exchange for Adam Eaton. Dunning missed the entire 2019 season after having Tommy John surgery but bounced back to make his major league debut in 2020, where he went 2-0, 3.97 with 35 strikeouts in 34 innings and was one of baseball's top rookie pitchers. Nothing Dunning throws is overwhelming, but he effectively locates five different pitches in different parts of the strike zone to keep hitters guessing. He primarily relies on his 91-92 mph sinker and 81-82 mph slider—both of which confounded big league hitters in his debut—and mixes in a four-seam fastball, changeup and curveball. Dunning would slot into the middle-to-back of the rotation for most teams, but he immediately becomes the Rangers best young pitching prospect and should be one of their top starters in 2021.
Avery Weems, LHP
Weems was set to rank as the White Sox's No. 24 prospect entering the 2021 season. A sixth-round pick in 2019 out of Arizona, Weems signed for $10,000 as a senior sign and impressed at both at Rookie-level Great Falls and 2020 instructional league. He works with a low-to-mid-90s fastball that peaks at 96 mph, as well as a sharp curveball which evaluators project as plus. He also throws a mid-80s slurve, but it lags behind his other two weapons. He’s likely a reliever but could move quickly to the upper levels.