Kansas City Royals: 3 underrated trades to improve rotation

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /
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Texas Rangers,
Texas Rangers, /

3. Lance Lynn

Lance Lynn could potentially provide the most upside in a starting pitcher coming over via trade but the downside is the contract he would bring. The Rangers finished with a mediocre 78-84 record and could look to rebuild with both the Astros and Athletics dominating the top of the division.

Lynn finished the 2019 season with a 16-11 record and a 3.67 ERA in 33 starts for the team while striking out 246 batters in 208.1 innings of work. He has a terrific fastball that tops out on average near 95 mph and had 144 of his 246 strikeouts via this pitch. Batters hit just 0.218 off his fastball and whiffed 31 percent of the time. With an average spin rate of 2482 RPM, it’s fairly easy to see why.

He also has plus pitches in his curveball and changeup in which he was able to produce a 38 and 25 percent whiff rate, respectively. Lynn’s changeup only produced 1 strikeout all season but batters were only able to hit 0.231 off this pitch.

The 32-year old pitcher signed a three-year deal with the Rangers last offseason and could potentially be moved. The only question is if the Royals are willing to take on his remaining $20.6 million over the next two seasons. However, Lynn would be a perfect mentor for the younger pitchers that will be making their big league debuts within the next couple of seasons while also serving an immediate need.

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Lynn’s barrel rate of 5.9 percent, average exit velocity of 87.4 mph, 0.228 XBA, and 32.1 percent hard-hit rate were all below the league average in 2019. This move would make a lot of sense but, again, it would likely come down to whether John Sherman wants to take on nearly $21 million in his first season as owner.