FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins have added 6 Major League pitchers this winter, and according to one report, they might not be done.
The Twins could look to add another big-name free agent starter in the form of Lance Lynn, according to a recent report/column from Jon Heyman.
Per Heyman’s report, the Twins still have “some flexibility,” to add to the payroll, and that they “seem to prefer” Lynn to other free agents like Jake Arrieta and Alex Cobb. Adding Lynn, of course, would make their rotation even deeper than it currently is, although it’s fair to say that he’s not in the same echelon as Yu Darvish.
How about a starting rotation that starts with J.O. Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Lance Lynn and Ervin Santana? Then the Twins would be free to choose from any number of candidates — like Kyle Gibson, Phil Hughes, Adalberto Mejia, Anibal Sanchez, Aaron Slegers or others — for the final spot in their starting rotation.
Early this winter, Lynn was reportedly seeking a 5-year deal worth $100 million. It’s nearly impossible to imagine him getting that done now. So maybe if the Twins feel that Lynn has fallen back into their price range, they could look to strike a deal.
Signing Lynn would mean that the Twins would forfeit the No. 75 pick in next summer’s draft.
The longtime Cardinals starter posted a strong 124 ERA+ in 2017. That’s the best adjusted ERA – which factors in ballparks and opponents – among the so-called “big four” free-agent starters in 2017. On the other hand, his 4.82 FIP and other peripheral stats are a lot worse than you’d expect to see from a guy who has never posted an ERA higher than 4.00.
Like Cobb, Lynn has a Tommy John surgery on his medical report. Lynn had his ligament repaired at the end of the 2015 season and it wiped out his 2016 season. If we’re trying to figure out how good post-surgery Lynn will be, all that we have to go off of is his 2017 performance.
The good news is that he ran a 3.43 ERA in 186 innings, and he’s the proud owner of a 3.38 ERA in almost 980 career innings with the Cardinals in the National League. On the down side, his strikeout rate dipped to below average this year (19.7%), to go along with his league-average groundball rate. He also walked batters more often than he had any year prior – his 10.1% walk rate is up from a pre-surgery career mark of 8.9%.