MLB Trade Rumors: Analyzing Buzz on Lance Lynn, Dylan Bundy and MoreAugust 25, 2020
The Texas Rangers would figure to be one of the clear-cut sellers entering the 2020 MLB trade deadline.
Texas is just 11-17 despite beating the Oakland Athletics to snap an eight-game losing streak on Monday night, but it is still on the outside looking in when it comes to the American League playoff picture.
However, it would seem the Rangers will not part with their top trade asset.
Veteran right-hander Lance Lynn has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this year. He is 3-2 with a 1.37 ERA in his first six starts of the year, striking out 9.6 hitters per nine innings while also boasting a 0.81 WHIP.
The 33-year-old is one of the most valuable pitchers in the game since 2019 and ranks third in fWAR since the start of last year, per FanGraphs, just behind Gerrit Cole and Jacob deGrom.
Not only has Lynn been excellent on the mound, but he also has a team-friendly contract. He is under contract through next season and is due to make just $8 million in 2021, per Spotrac.
Given his performance and affordability, it is likely Lynn could net the Rangers a massive haul should they choose to deal him. But T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reported "club officials have indicated there are no plans to tear the roster down and start over." Texas hopes he can be its ace again next year.
It is hard to blame the Rangers for wanting to retain one of the top pitchers in the game. That said, they have limited other assets. Left-hander Mike Minor has been a disappointment after a stellar 2019, and veteran Shin-Soo Choo had a .662 OPS entering Monday's game.
The Rangers might be able to reap some value from Todd Frazier, who can play multiple positions and hit the ball out of the yard. But he is also 34 years old and is not quite the same everyday player he once was in Cincinnati.
Texas has the 21st-ranked farm in baseball, per MLB.com. It needs young assets moving into the future, especially considering the team came into Monday ranked dead last in both runs scored and OPS.
Perhaps general manager Jon Daniels will reconsider Lynn's status this offseason. But he is rolling the dice on the Rangers getting a similar return this winter or at next year's deadline.
Angels Getting Interest in Dylan Bundy
The Los Angeles Angels are another team expected to sell, despite having Mike Trout and spending hundreds of millions on Anthony Rendon this past offseason.
They have started the year 9-21 after losing to the Houston Astros on Monday night and, like the Rangers, are all but out of the AL playoff picture. The Angels have the 26th-ranked farm in baseball, per MLB.com, and desperately need young pitching.
Interestingly enough, their best asset might be a young pitcher they just acquired this offseason.
Right-hander Dylan Bundy has revitalized his career since the Angels acquired him from the Baltimore Orioles in December. He is 3-2 with a 2.58 ERA and a 10.3 K/9 in his first six starts. He has also given up just four homers in 38.1 innings of work (0.9 per nine innings) after giving up 29 in 2019 and an MLB-worst 41 in 2018.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the Angels have received "numerous inquiries" on the 27-year-old. There is a constant need for controllable starting pitching at the deadline, which should make him one of the most attractive arms on the market. He has one more year of arbitration next season before hitting the open market in 2022.
Teams such as the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, New York Mets and a number of others could all show interest in Bundy as they look to solidify their rotations for the second half of the season.
The Angels need to be aggressive—whether they decide to buy or sell—so as to be more competitive in the coming years. Otherwise, they risk potentially wasting Trout's and Rendon's prime years.
Trevor Rosenthal Generating Buzz
Just as starting pitching is at a premium at the deadline, so too are late-game relievers. The Kansas City Royals have a few pitchers to offer in this regard.
Veteran right-handers Greg Holland, Ian Kennedy and Trevor Rosenthal are all on expiring contracts, and all three could be on the move before Monday's trade deadline.
Rosenthal appears the most likely of the trio to be dealt.
Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported "several" teams have expressed interest in the 30-year-old, who had a 1.59 ERA and six saves in his first 12 appearances.
Rosenthal has reestablished himself as an elite strikeout pitcher, ranking in the 86th percentile in whiff percentage, per Baseball Savant. He has also toned down some of the command issues that plagued him last year.
Any number of contenders could look to make a move for the Missouri native, with the Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies (among others) all needing added depth in the later innings.
The Royals figure to receive a number of offers for Rosenthal, and they have a massive opportunity to accrue farm assets ahead of the 2021 campaign.
All stats obtained via Baseball Reference, unless otherwise noted.