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Grading the White Sox: Lance Lynn

Keep on Tonka Truckin’

MLB: Chicago White Sox at San Diego Padres
A rare gamble that has paid off for Rick Hahn, expect Lance Lynn to slide right back in as potential ace material for the White Sox in 2023.
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

At midseason, the SSS staff graded the 46-46 White Sox, from the head of the class Dylan Cease down to Dallas Keuchel. We invented a WARsss metric that could very well be just a cute way to trot out our special site grades — but really for all you know could be the product of years of research in a stats lab.

Our expanded report card will take us through everyone who saw time in uniform for the White Sox, plus some front-office types. Most of our writers will take on a couple of players, with final grades and short writeups, running through the end of November. Enjoy!


Lance Lynn
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
Midseason: -0.3 WARsss
Final 3.5 WARsss

He should stay Coming off an injured season, Lynn probably won’t bring much of a return in trade at his salary. And while he’s still a decent pitcher, presume any trade involving him would be a salary dump rather than one that solves another problem. The White Sox are shallow in starting pitching, so getting rid of one of their better rotation arms is probably a step backwards regardless. Lynn still generates a decent amount of strikeouts and, after shaking the rust off for about a month after coming off of the IL, was pretty close to his Cy Young-nod form.

He should go At $18.5 million, Lynn will be the most expensive player on the team for 2023. While he wouldn’t likely bring much of a return in a trade, he shouldn’t be immovable (like Yasmani Grandal and Yoán Moncada), and that money could probably replace him twice over with other pitchers of lesser renown and greater risk. Entering his age-36 season, Lynn is another long-in-the-tooth player on a squad that needs to get a bit younger, and his brush with injury in 2022 isn’t a good portent for a player at the career stage and condition he’s in. Lynn continues to thrive using a pitch mix that is almost 90% fastball variants, which is of dubious value come the postseason when far too many hitters crush heaters of all types (re: Astros).

The verdict I don’t see the White Sox pursuing a trade of Lynn, as he still has a great deal of upside and was pretty lights-out from August-on (2.43 ERA, 3.28 FIP), averaging more than six innings per start in that span. Had the team not rushed him back from injury and Tony La Russa not leaned on him so heavily as he rehabbed on the fly, Lynn’s 2022 stats would probably be a lot prettier. At this point, Lynn is one of the few spots where Rick Hahn spent money in a worthwhile fashion, and while he could technically rid himself of Lynn’s salary and reallocate it, I wouldn’t trust Hahn to accomplish that feat with any success.


2022 White Sox Grades

Lance Lynn, RHSP, 3.5
Miguel Cairo, Bench Coach/MGR, 3.48
Tim Anderson, SS, 3.43
Kendall Graveman, RHRP, 3.1
Josh Harrison, 2B, 3.0
Gavin Sheets, RF-1B, 2.5
Jake Burger, 3B, 2.2
Romy González, IF, 2.0
Aaron Bummer, LHRP, 1.8
AJ Pollock, OF, 1.3
Matt Foster, RHRP, 1.2
Yoán Moncada, 3B, 0.92
Lenyn Sosa, SS, 0.85
José Ruiz, RHRP, 0.83
Mark Payton, OF, 0.6
Carlos Pérez, C, 0.399
Lucas Giolito, RHSP, 0.392
Adam Engel, OF, 0.237
Vince Velasquez, RHP, -0.4
Reese McGuire, C, -1.1
Kyle Crick, RHRP, -1.65
Joe Kelly, RHRP, -1.75
Daryl Boston, 1B Coach, -2.0
Anderson Severino, LHRP, -2.2
Jerry Reinsdorf, OWN, -2.321
Jake Diekman, LHRP, -2.366
Rick Hahn, GM, -2.401
Bennett Sousa, LHRP, -2.425
Frank Menechino, BAT COACH, -2.469
Yasmani Grandal, C/DH, -2.549
Leury García, UTIL, -2.7
Adam Haseley, OF, -3.146
Joe McEwing, 3B Coach, -3.167
Ryan Burr, RHRP, -3.4
Tony La Russa, MGR, -3.5
Dallas Keuchel, LHSP, -3.9

Poll

Bad start, strong finish. What do you think of our overall analysis of Lance Lynn?

  • 21%
    Too harsh, he’s one of the only gamers on the club.
    (11 votes)
  • 13%
    Too easy, he missed half of the season and rallied into shape when it was already too late.
    (7 votes)
  • 64%
    Can’t pick on him too much here, so the grade is just about right.
    (33 votes)
51 votes total Vote Now