Once the offseason officially begins, the Padres need to get the Rangers front office on the phone regarding a trade for Lance Lynn.
Despite having a surplus of arms, the Padres learned one thing in the COVID-shortened season. You can never have too much pitching. Injuries to Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger derailed their postseason hopes, eventually being swept by the Dodgers in the NLDS. While the AL and NLCS trend toward a clash in the World Series, once the offseason is officially underway, Padres general manager AJ Preller should be the first to contact the Rangers front office about Lance Lynn.
Lynn, 33, generated a ton of interest at the trade deadline, but the Rangers never dealt him. Now with one year left on his deal, the Rangers may want to consider getting something in return before he walks. The former Cardinals’ farmhand has proven that age is just a number, posting a 3.32 ERA in 13 starts last year. He fanned 89 batters in 84.0 innings of work and rarely allowed any free passes.
With Garrett Richards heading to free agency this offseason and the health status of the Padres top two pitchers up in the air — despite reports indicating they are fine — Preller should make a trade for Lynn, who could help propel them to an elusive win over the Dodgers. Just like Michael Jordan had to overcome the Pistons for his first NBA title, the Dodgers are the equivalent for the Padres right now.
The Rangers’ farm system is top-heavy with position players, with only pitcher Cole Winn ranked within the top five. The team’s 2018 first-round pick was projected to reach the majors by 2022, but that was before the COVID pandemic canceled the minor league system.
Therefore, I have the Padres sending a package of LHP Ryan Weathers, RHP Michel Baez, and OF Hudson Head to Texas in exchange for Lynn. Baseball Trade Values indicates this is a fair return (20.60 to 20.20) with an ever-so-slight advantage toward the Rangers here. This trade makes sense because the Padres rotation is mostly set outside of another arm, which Lynn would fill.
And the Rangers need pitchers. Baez can pitch right away, and Weathers is likely a year or two, at most, away. I also have Head included to help out in the outfield, given that Pham-Grisham-Myers is the likely outfield formation next year.