Yankees Acquire Lance Lynn From Twins For Stretch Run
The Yankees over the past week or so have been particularly active on two fronts: Buttressing their current roster for the season’s final two months and hoarding as much international slot money as possible to add even more depth to their enviable farm system. They addressed both fronts on the eve of this year’s non-waiver trading deadline, sending righthanded swingman Adam Warren to Seattle for $1.25 million in slot money (bringing the total they’ve accumulated in recent days to $3.75 million, some of which was spent on Cuban righthander Osiel Rodriguez) and then turning around and acquiring veteran righthander Lance Lynn from the Twins for additional pitching help down the stretch.
This was also the second move of the day for the Twins, who earlier shipped lefty reliever Zach Duke to the Mariners in exchange for a pair of prospects. It also comes on the heels of moves that sent reliever Ryan Pressly to the Astros and infielder Eduardo Escobar to the D-backs for a combined quintet of lower-level prospects.
Lance Lynn, RHP
With ace righthander Luis Severino struggling, Sonny Gray producing inconsistent results until recently, lefthander Jordan Montgomery out for the season with Tommy John surgery and Domingo German faltering enough to earn a demotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Yankees needed rotation protection as they enter the stretch run trying to catch the Red Sox for the division title. They first added J.A. Happ from Toronto in exchange for third baseman Brandon Drury and outfielder Billy McKinney before swapping with Minnesota as their second move.
Lynn moved to the American League for the first time this season with the Twins and hadn’t pitched particularly well. The 5.5 walks per nine innings he’d allowed with Minnesota contributed greatly to his struggles and represented a significant departure from his career norm, which was 3.4 walks per nine with the Cardinals. He’s also been particularly effective against the Red Sox this season, which almost certainly factored into the team’s decision.
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Tyler Austin, 1B
Once one of the Yankees' top prospects, Austin has increasingly become a man without a home in New York. He got regular playing time early this season while first baseman Greg Bird recovered from surgery to remove bone chips in his right ankle. It was Bird’s second surgery on that ankle in as many years. In his stead, Austin hit .223 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs. He put together an .826 OPS against lefthanders this season, which is in line with a career platoon split that made him a valuable bat off the bench. Austin is a survivor of testicular cancer and has experience in the outfield as well, though he’d primarily been used as a first baseman during his tenure with New York.
Luis Rijo, RHP
Rijo, who signed with the Yankees in July of 2015, was among a group of talented pitchers who began this season with Rookie-level Pulaski in the Appalachian League. He quickly proved to be among the most advanced of the group, making a one-start cameo at high Class A Tampa before moving back to the more challenging New York-Penn League. He throws his fastball in the 91-93 mph range, which represents a sizable jump from the 85-87 mph he threw when he was signed. He shows feel for spin on his breaking ball and has made strides with his changeup as well. He pounds the zone and walked just one hitter in 27 innings with Pulaski before his cameo in the Florida State League.