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Twins To Sign Lance Lynn

The Twins offseason puzzle is now complete. Jon Heyman reported that the Twins were closing in on a deal for free agent starting pitcher Lance Lynn. That report was confirmed by Jon Morosi, who added it's a one-year pact worth $12 million. Phil Miller of the Star Tribune was first to report that the Twins have released Anibal Sanchez to make room on the 40-man roster.
Lynn, 30, was considered one of the four best starting pitchers on the free agent market. After missing the 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery, the right-hander bounced back strong in 2017 with the St. Louis Cardinals to post a 3.43 ERA over 186.1 IP. He is considered a reliable middle-of-the-rotation arm, though it’s worth noting that his ERA last year would have ranked second on the Twins staff.

He is part of a trio of free agent starting pitchers that have been victimized by an historically slow free agent market, as estimates last October predicted he would likely get a deal as high as $60M over four years. Just last week it was reported that he turned down a two-year deal from the Twins for $20 million. The one-year, $12 million deal is likely a compromise. It allows Lynn to explore the free agent market next year and gets the Twins a solid starter at a reasonable rate with no long-term commitment.

A lot has changed over the course of this offseason, but you'd still be hard pressed to paint this deal as anything other than an incredible bargain for the Twins. When it was announced Ervin Santana would miss the beginning of the year due to an injured finger, it would have been easy for Derek Falvey and the rest of the front office to panic and overpay the first free agent starting pitcher they could get to sign on the dotted line.

Instead, they signed veteran Anibal Sanchez to a low-risk deal (again, he has now been released) and traded from a position of depth to acquire Jake Odorizzi. Those moves afforded the front office the ability to take a hard stance on the rest of the free agent market, waiting for a good deal to land in their laps.

Lynn is not completely without concerns. His strikeout rate was down (7.4 K/9) and his walk rate up (3.8 K/9). He limped to the finish line last year with a 9.20 ERA over his last four starts. He also had the lowest BABIP among all qualified pitchers at .244, which is a far cry from his career mark of .297. Furthermore, he had by far the worst strikeout-to-walk ratio (1.96) of his career, which has been entirely in the National League.

While there are certainly some red flags, it's important to remember that was Lynn's first season back from Tommy John surgery. Also, among the 144 pitchers who logged at least 500 innings from 2011-16, Lynn ranked 21st in FIP (3.36). That's a great track record upon which to rely when he is completely recovered.

Lynn most likely joins the Twins starting rotation plans immediately. That looks to be Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson and Lynn, as the tentative plan is for a four-man rotation at the beginning of the season, with a fifth starter only necessary a handful of times before mid-May. The Twins best pitcher last year, Ervin Santana, will likely return late April or early May to take the permanent fifth spot.

It remains to be seen how prepared Lynn will be to join the Twins on Opening Day. He reportedly has been working out in Jupiter, presumably building his pitch count. Most Twins pitchers are at the 60 pitch mark as of today, leaving about three more starts to get them to the 90-100 pitch mark. Depending on where Lynn is in his routine, he could begin the year with a few shorter than usual outings.

Since Lynn had the qualifying offer attached to him, the Twins will forfeit a draft pick. MLB Pipeline is reporting that'll be the No. 95 overall pick in the draft.

The signing puts the Twins payroll near $130 million for the year, up about $25 million from last year and the highest payroll in team history. Here are the details:

Attached Image: Payroll after Lynn.PNG

Here's a live stream on Twitter, if you're interested. I talked for 18 minutes, getting into some details about Lynn's aggressive TJ rehab schedule and usage by the Cardinals in 2017, as well as the rotation and 40-man roster fallout.

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258 Comments

What was your favorite Anibal Sanchez moment?

    • Carole Keller, ashburyjohn, USAFChief and 34 others like this
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Deduno Abides
Mar 10 2018 03:50 PM
AT the numbers reported, it’s a great signing.

Signed,

Not a big Lance Lynn fan, but hoping to be convinced otherwise
    • darin617, gil4, Twins33 and 11 others like this

1 Year 12 Million is what i'm hearing. 

 

Lynn should be upgrade over Mejia, Hughes and Sanchez.

 

Turn on the applause sign. 

    • Blake, diehardtwinsfan, gil4 and 13 others like this
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Tommygun921
Mar 10 2018 03:52 PM
Saw $12 mill. Pretty crazy as he was offered $17+ from the Cards in Nov. Hindsights 20/20!
    • bluechipper, twinssouth and howieramone2 like this
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NoCryingInBaseball
Mar 10 2018 03:54 PM

I think this puts an explanation mark for the new front office's off-season acquisitions!

    • luckylager, Jerr, Danchat and 11 others like this
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KirbyDome89
Mar 10 2018 03:54 PM

Not exactly exciting, but for one year it's hard to complain. 

 

Short term, "value," deals seem to be the MO of this FO. Hopefully the long term $$ is being saved for a slew of extensions for the core. 

    • mikelink45 likes this
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ashburyjohn
Mar 10 2018 03:55 PM

The cost is the modest salary, plus the loss of a draft pick. If he performs well, we can give a qualifying offer and more or less get the pick back; if he doesn't, then we don't.

 

Of course, after this off-season's experience, the draft pick maybe should be considered permanently gone; giving the QO may mean having him for another year.

    • gagu and Respy like this
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bustedstuff88
Mar 10 2018 03:56 PM

Berrios, Lynn, Santana, Ordorizzi and then most likely Gibson is not a half bad rotation.

 

Guessing this means the 4 man rotation thing is a no-go?

 

Begins slow clap... 

    • bighat likes this
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Foghorn Leghorn
Mar 10 2018 03:57 PM
Upgrade.
    • d-mac and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this
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TheLeviathan
Mar 10 2018 03:58 PM

I preferred Cobb, but I love this move.It was needed.

    • Mike Sixel, Twins33, jokin and 9 others like this

Well, I certainly didn't expect to see this happening. I'm surprised he took the Twins deal, especially when we heard that they had offered him something in the ballpark of 2 years $20M.

 

The rotation of Berrios-Lynn-Odorizzi-Gibson-Mejia/etc. is really solid now with Ervin due back mid May and with other guys like May and Gonsalves on the way. Tons of depth, only cost $12M, great stuff!

 

I trusted this FO to make some signings this season even when some despaired after not getting Darvish... I say great job to Favley/Levine taking advantage of the slow market and nabbing Morrison and Lynn. Clearly the Pohlads didn't object to the payroll increasing to approximately $135M.

 

In summary: Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke, Addison Reed, Logan Morrison, Jake Odorizzi, and Lance Lynn. That's one heck of an offseason, outside of not netting an ace. And there's still plenty of prospects in the system if they need to go out and make a big trade midseason.

    • birdwatcher, Twins33, notoriousgod71 and 20 others like this
Pretty sweet deal. Major props to the front office.

I really like the depth with Mejia, Gonsalvez and Romero down on the farm. If that’s what they end up doing with Mejia.
    • bluechipper, NoCryingInBaseball, Deduno Abides and 6 others like this
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notoriousgod71
Mar 10 2018 04:02 PM

 

Well, I certainly didn't expect to see this happening. I'm surprised he took the Twins deal, especially when we heard that they had offered him something in the ballpark of 2 years $20M.

 

The rotation of Berrios-Lynn-Odorizzi-Gibson-Mejia/etc. is really solid now with Ervin due back mid May and with other guys like May and Gonsalves on the way. Tons of depth, only cost $12M, great stuff!

 

I trusted this FO to make some signings this season even when some despaired after not getting Darvish... I say great job to Favley/Levine taking advantage of the slow market and nabbing Morrison and Lynn. Clearly the Pohlads didn't object to the payroll increasing to approximately $135M.

 

In summary: Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke, Addison Reed, Logan Morrison, Jake Odorizzi, and Lance Lynn. That's one heck of an offseason, outside of not netting an ace. And there's still plenty of prospects in the system if they need to go out and make a big trade midseason.

 

By themselves none of these moves are particularly exciting but as a whole this is clearly our best offseason since Thome, Hudson, Hardy.

    • Twins33, Dantes929, Oldgoat_MN and 10 others like this
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jorgenswest
Mar 10 2018 04:05 PM
Fantastic deal.
    • howieramone2 likes this
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Deduno Abides
Mar 10 2018 04:06 PM

In summary: Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke, Addison Reed, Logan Morrison, Jake Odorizzi, and Lance Lynn. That's one heck of an offseason, outside of not netting an ace. And there's still plenty of prospects in the system if they need to go out and make a big trade midseason.

The deal for Pineda may also turn out to be a good one and credit should be further given for the prospects that have been added.

The only non-cash cost has been Palacios and a third round pick. Severino may be a good substitute for Palacios.
    • birdwatcher, Twins33, Dantes929 and 12 others like this
I'm happy with this. Good rotation especially once Santana returns. It's been a long time since the Twins had a solid 1-5 staff like this.

Santana (when he returns), Berrios, Lynn, Odorizzi and Gibson.

Major Kudos to the Twins front office for getting this done.
    • bluechipper, NoCryingInBaseball, Sconnie and 9 others like this
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Winston Smith
Mar 10 2018 04:08 PM

which pick 75 or 95?

Only thing not to like is Mejia figures to get squeezed out and that's a shame for the long term. I know you always need more than 5 SP for a season, and he can still open the year in the rotation with Santana out. Just seems a shame not to have him developing in the 5 spot. 

 

But this is a great signing!

    • Dozier's Glorious Hair likes this
Who do the Twins drop? Hughes or Sanchez?
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jorgenswest
Mar 10 2018 04:12 PM

which pick 75 or 95?


75 or 95- the likelihood that player has a significant career is remote.

http://twinsdaily.co...-the-75th-pick/
    • Hosken Bombo Disco and twinssouth like this

 

Who do the Twins drop? Hughes or Sanchez?

I'm hopeful that it doesn't have to be an either/or situation and they can carpool to the airport.

    • Twins33, nicksaviking, 70charger and 10 others like this

Here's Payroll before the soon to be announced Anibel Sanchez release

 

Lance Lynn

 

    • SwainZag, d-mac and caninatl04 like this
This has become a very solid staff. The top 5 starters might not be lights out individually, but you’ve got quality pitchers 1 - 5, especially when Santana rounds back into form, and intriguing options behind them. The bullpen also has a good mix now to pick and choose from; maybe now they’ll be more smoke and fewer mirrors!
    • Oldgoat_MN, bluechipper, laloesch and 4 others like this

 

The cost is the modest salary, plus the loss of a draft pick. If he performs well, we can give a qualifying offer and more or less get the pick back; if he doesn't, then we don't.

 

Of course, after this off-season's experience, the draft pick maybe should be considered permanently gone; giving the QO may mean having him for another year.

 

New CBA...player cannot be QO'd more than once

 

If it's one and done he goes without compensation...I'm ok with that :)

    • ashburyjohn, gil4, Sconnie and 1 other like this

Now go sign Cobb to a one year deal to take the 5th spot!

    • Dantes929 likes this

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