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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

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Brock Beauchamp
Mar 10 2018 04:22 PM
Given how this front office has plucked guys like Odorizzi, Morrison, Reed, and now Lynn this offseason for peanuts, I’d be enraged if I was a fan of one of the other 5-7 fringe contender teams in baseball.

It feels really good to be on this end of things for once.
    • ashburyjohn, Blake, diehardtwinsfan and 32 others like this
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Deduno Abides
Mar 10 2018 04:23 PM

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!


Mejia should go to AAA and pitch great, then become a mid-season trade chip for an ace. Next year, he’ll fall behind Gonsalves and Romero, with Berrios, Odorizzi and Pineda taking three other spots, not to mention Santana, Lynn, May or Gibson.
    • gagu and caninatl04 like this
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notoriousgod71
Mar 10 2018 04:27 PM

Hopefully, this means we don't see 36 pitchers again this year.

 

There were no fewer than 15 guys that should never see the field of play for a MLB team and that isn't even counting guys like Hughes or Perkins.

    • d-mac likes this

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


HAHA that would be crazy!

Who do the Twins drop? Hughes or Sanchez?

itll be Vargas... but Sanchez is owed less than a mil, so he’ll be cut shortly before the escalator

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.

You have got to be happy with Gibson as a 4 or 5 starter, rather than hoping he can be a 2 or 3!
    • James, Dantes929, notoriousgod71 and 6 others like this

All Lynn does is win. What's not to like?

    • Mike Sixel, laloesch, twinssouth and 3 others like this

 

Who do the Twins drop? Hughes or Sanchez?

Yes.

    • ashburyjohn, USAFChief, PseudoSABR and 9 others like this

which pick 75 or 95?


95. 3rd round, but our 4th pick. 75 is the Competitive Balance round, which is protected from forfeiture.
    • Dance with Disco Dan, gagu, d-mac and 3 others like this

 

Given how this front office has plucked guys like Odorizzi, Morrison, Reed, and now Lynn this offseason for peanuts, I’d be enraged if I was a fan of one of the other 5-7 fringe contender teams in baseball.

It feels really good to be on this end of things for once.

I believe the FO knows it has some arms that need to debut at the MLB level over the next year or so which probably factored into their approach this off-season.

    • DocBauer, twinssouth, IndyTwinsFan and 1 other like this

 

Who do the Twins drop? Hughes or Sanchez?

If it comes down to these two at any point...

 

I'll give you thirteen million and two hundred guesses.(If you don't get it right, I'll give you another thirteen million two hundred.)

    • ashburyjohn, Dantes929, Oldgoat_MN and 2 others like this

I am most happy that it is a one year deal.Next year it is Pineda's spot and I still want Romero and Gonsalves in the rotation.I also suspect that Santana will be gone after this year.  

    • bluechipper, RaymondLuxuryYacht, SF Twins Fan and 1 other like this
The best part about all of this is that the Twins Front office added all this talent and gave up only one prospect in the process. Trade chips are still available if they really want to go for it. I see no harm in giving Romero time in AAA and Gonsalves more time in AAA. This is a win win win in my opinion.
    • Twins33, notoriousgod71, Danchat and 12 others like this

 

I am most happy that it is a one year deal.Next year it is Pineda's spot and I still want Romero and Gonsalves in the rotation.I also suspect that Santana will be gone after this year.  

I definitely didn't want a three year deal but resigned myself to the idea of a two year deal.One year deal at less than we thought a multiyear deal would get per year is really good.Would have preferred Cobb to a two year deal or Arrietta to a one year deal but this one is really solid.Rodney is the move I like least but all the others has to make this a top five off season in Twins history.

    • Twins33 and Dman 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. 

applause
 
As you wish.

 

    • USAFChief, Riverbrian, hugelycat and 1 other like this
Hope Berrios still gets Opening Day.

Otherwise, good deal, good price, no long term commitment.

I'm sure we'll still get a post-signing piece regurgitating all of the analysis from the plethora of articles before this signing.

After that ...

Play ball!
    • Blake, 70charger and Hosken Bombo Disco like this

 

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.

I'm pretty sure it's the 75th pick in the draft. Twins got a competitive balance round B pick. The Tinws would give up their 3rd highest pick.

 

HOLY HELL WE'RE GOING FOR IT, GANG!

    • laloesch, twinssouth, Dr. Evil and 5 others like this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Mar 10 2018 04:54 PM
Who is this Falvey, and what is he doing to my beloved Twins
    • Carole Keller, Blake, jokin and 12 others like this

Hope this doesn't turn out like when the Twins signed Kendrys Morales.

 

The biggest questions will be what has he been doing since pitchers & catchers reported? Is he behind & will he be ready for opening day without much of any Spring Training?

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twinssporto
Mar 10 2018 04:57 PM

Love it!  The team has really got to be excited...Momentum builder!

    • laloesch likes this
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RaymondLuxuryYacht
Mar 10 2018 04:57 PM

 

I'm pretty sure it's the 75th pick in the draft. Twins got a competitive balance round B pick. The Tinws would give up their 3rd highest pick.

Competitive Balance B picks are protected, no?I think it's 95

    • jokin and LA VIkes Fan like this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Mar 10 2018 04:58 PM

Hope Berrios still gets Opening Day.
...
Play ball!

I'm on board, but that is another conversation, given that the Twins play in Puerto Rico (Berrios's home) in mid April but the Opening Day starter would not be lined up to pitch in that series... hey lets start a new thread
    • Sconnie likes this

 

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

 

Mostly agree.

 

Strong case was easy to make for Cobb over Lynn, or Arrieta instead on the one-year, but a one year/bargain $ commitment to fill the gaping hole in the rotation is entirely acceptable vs. the alternative of Mejia, Hughes or Sanchez. Meanwhile Lynn stays highly motivated to perform at a high level to continue his pursuit of a big payday, and the Twins now have a nice cushion until Romero and/or Gonsalves prove themselves ready for the next level.

    • LA VIkes Fan and Sconnie like this

 

Competitive Balance B picks are protected, no?I think it's 95

 

You are correct, sir.


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