White Sox add experienced Lance Lynn to starting rotation, deal young pitchers

The Chicago White Sox acquired a big workhorse for their starting rotation.

Lance Lynn was traded from the Texas Rangers to the White Sox on Tuesday for right-hander Dane Dunning and lefty Avery Weems. The deal was agreed to at the end of the first day of Major League Baseball’s virtual winter meetings.

Lynn was be reunited in Chicago with new manager Tony La Russa. Lynn was a rookie pitcher for the 2011 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, who beat the Rangers in seven games in the last season La Russa managed in the big leagues before returning to the White Sox this off-season.

The six-foot-five, 250-pound Lynn was 22-14 in 46 starts the past two seasons for the Rangers, with 335 strikeouts over 292 1/3 innings. The right-hander has an $8 million US salary in 2021, the final season of a three-year, $30-million contract he signed with Texas two winters ago.

The on-the-rise White Sox are coming off their first playoff appearance since 2008, going 35-25 and finishing tied for second in the American League Central before losing to Oakland in their wild-card series. Lynn will be in the top three of a rotation that features right-hander Lucas Giolito and lefty Dallas Keuchel.

In nine big league seasons with the Cardinals, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees and Rangers, the 33-year-old Lynn is 104-71 with a 3.57 earned-run average in 260 games (236 starts).

Rebuilding mode

Texas was an AL-worst 22-38 in the pandemic-shortened season and had three 22-year-old rookies in its starting lineup on the last day of the season.

Managing partner Ray Davis said the Rangers were still in a rebuilding mode earlier Monday during the formal introduction of new general manager Chris Young. Texas named Young last week to that role after Jon Daniels had served as both president of baseball operations and GM since 2013. Daniels, who had been GM since 2005, is still president of baseball operations.

Dunning, 25, was 2-0 with a 3.97 ERA over 34 innings and seven starts last season.

Weems, 23, was 5-4 with a 2.09 ERA over 14 starts in the White Sox minor league system in 2019 after he was selected on the sixth round of the amateur draft.

Eaton back in Windy City?

Also Tuesday, the White Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year deal worth $7 million with free agent and former Washington Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton

The deal includes a club option for 2022 and is pending the results of a physical.

Eaton, who turned 32 on Sunday, played three seasons with the White Sox (2014-16) before spending the past four seasons with the Washington Nationals.

He batted a career-worst .226 in 41 games last season with four homers and 17 runs batted in.

Eaton is a career .282 hitter with 60 homers and 289 RBI in 831 games with the Arizona Diamondbacks (2012-13), White Sox and Nationals. He helped Washington win a World Series in 2019, batting .320 with two homers and six RBI in the seven-game series against the Houston Astros.

Eaton will likely take over right field in Chicago, with 2020 rookie of the year runner-up and Gold Glove winner Luis Robert in centre and 2020 Silver Slugger winner Eloy Jimenez in left.

Carlos Santana joins Royals on 2-year deal

The Kansas City Royals and veteran first baseman Carlos Santana have agreed to a two-year contract worth $17 million US that plugs one of their biggest offensive holes while providing some clubhouse leadership for a rebuilding club.

The 34-year-old Santana was an all-star two years ago in Cleveland, when he hit a career-best .281 with 34 homers and 93 RBI. But he slid to .199 with eight homers and 30 RBI while playing 60 games during the shortened 2020 season, resulting in the Indians declining his $17.5 million option for the upcoming season.

The Royals were in the middle with a .244 team average last season, but they hit just 68 home runs and were tied with, coincidentally, the Indians for the sixth-worst scoring offence in the majors.

“One of our objectives this off-season was to add a middle-of-the-order bat, someone that would blend in well with our current group, make us a lot better,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “Carlos certainly does that.”

Santana should fill both an offensive need and defensive hold for the Royals. They had been toying with the possibility of moving Hunter Dozier to first base, but that would merely create another vacancy at third base and in the outfield, where they already have one to plug following the retirement of left-fielder Alex Gordon.

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