The Chris Young era has begun. His first act as the Rangers general manager is to trade Lance Lynn to the Chicago White Sox for pitching.
In particular, for pitchers Dane Dunning and Avery Weems.
The White Sox are looking for pitching to win now. The Rangers are years away from competing and are simply looking for pitching that isn’t philanthropic.
Dunning is a twenty-five-year-old right-handed pitcher selected in the first round of the 2016 draft by the Washington Nationals. He was the number-five prospect in the White Sox system.
In three minor league seasons, Dunning posted a 2.74 ERA over 49 starts.
He got seven major league starts in 2020 for Chicago, going 2-0 with a 3.97 ERA and a pretty good 1.118 WHIP.
Dunning relies primarily on a sinker, a slider, and a four-seam fastball. Even though his sinker has below-average velocity (low 90s), it’s very heavy and generates a lot of ground balls.
He struck out 35 batters in 34 innings with the White Sox, which used to be impressive but the way everyone strikes out these days, it’s table stakes.
In a rotation decimated by Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles, Dunning instantly becomes the Rangers number one starter in 2021, even if he doesn’t get the opening day nod.
The twenty-three-year-old lefty Weems is further down the developmental chart. He was the White Sox sixth-round pick in 2019 and has started fourteen games in the Rookie Leagues, compiling an ERA of 2.09 and a nice 1.044 WHIP.
In Lance Lynn, the White Sox, of course, are getting a pitcher who was one of the American League’s best over the past two years, and one of the few success stories the former general manager could boast of when it came to signing pitchers.
So now we start the process of evaluating Chris Young trades. His first act is trading a popular, successful pitcher in the final year of his contract for two young pitchers, one who will help the Rangers immediately, the other a few years away.
His first deal looks to be a good one. It’s a deal that recognizing what the Rangers system lacks is quality arms.
So long, Lance Lynn. Thanks for two great seasons.