No, the Yankees should not have paid the Texas Rangers’ price price for Lance Lynn. Sad, but true.
The reason that so many of us were pushing a Lance Lynn-Yankees reunion this offseason was the prevailing thought that, with only one year left on his deal, the cost would be reasonable.
But after the Chicago White Sox pounced on Lynn late Monday night, kicking off the Virtual Winter Meetings at the sleepiest possible moment, it quickly became clear that, if the Yankees had been involved, we would’ve seen subtraction by addition.
For just one year of Lynn, the White Sox surrendered Dane Dunning, one of their top pitching prospects (albeit an imperfect one, and nearly 26) and someone who was scheduled to compete for a rotation spot in the 2021 season. In other words, they sacrificed five years of control of someone who has already established himself as rotation depth for a single year of Lynn.
And if you stop to think about the equivalent Yankees deal, you’ll realize why they never even picked up the phone.
Dunning wasn’t the only piece, either — Chicago also had to throw in 2019 sixth-round pitcher Avery Weems.
So, what’s the Yankees equivalent here? Likely Clarke Schmidt and and an additional pitcher. Schmidt and Dunning share many similarities, though the expectations for Schmidt are likely higher for 2021.
As expected, the Yanks weren’t involved at all at that level of cost, avoiding the mental gymnastics it took to get enthralled with the re-addition of Lynn, who didn’t seem to enjoy himself much in the Bronx last time.
Like Dunning, Schmidt shouldn’t be counted on to provide 180 innings for the Yankees in 2021, and shouldn’t be penciled in as the fifth starter. But he’s someone you’d like to see a meaningful contribution from this year after a cup of coffee in 2020, and sacrificing that for a Lance Lynn gamble is pretty unjustifiable, especially since there’s history between the two parties.
Now where do the Yankees go for pitching help? Possibly Cincinnati, where a guy named Sonny Gray pitches, and we get to do this all over again.