The Texas Rangers have officially signed free agent pitcher Lance Lynn to a three year contract, the team announced today. A press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. to make the official announcement.
Lynn is reportedly getting 3 years, $30 million, and I think that’s pretty reasonable, much more so than the 5 years, $80 million he was speculated to be getting last offseason, when he also would have cost a draft pick. The 31 year old righthander has a career 3.57 ERA and 3.67 FIP, and has made at least 29 starts and appeared in at least 31 games in every season from 2012 through 2018, other than in 2016, when he was out the entire year due to Tommy John surgery.
Lynn was a late sign last offseason by the Minnesota Twins, and appeared to suffered from getting his late start, ending April with an 8.37 ERA. From May 1 on, however, he had a 4.13 ERA and 135 Ks against 53 walks in 133 innings pitched. He’s a guy who gives you starts and gives you innings, and if he’s close to where he was pre-TJS, he’s also better than league average.
I’ve talked this offseason about Lynn, who saw an uptick in his stuff after being traded to the Yankees last year, which coincided with a change in his placement on the rubber, as being someone the Rangers should target. Its a relatively cheap deal for a decent starting pitcher, and as we are all aware, the Rangers are in dire need of decent starting pitchers right now.
UPDATE — Per Ken Rosenthal, Lynn gets a $4 million signing bonus, an $8 million salary in 2019, a $10 million salary in 2020, and an $8 million salary in 2021, as well as a $100,000 bonus if he is traded to any of the eight teams in the Pacific or Mountain Time Zones.
Assuming that the signing bonus is being paid immediately, or at least in the next year, the deal is effectively front-loaded, since he is getting $12 million all told by the end of 2019, and he will be paid the least in 2021.
UPDATE II — Per T.R. Sullivan, the signing bonus is paid $3 million in 2019, $1 million in 2020. So its effectively $11 million per year in 2019 and 2020, $8 million in 2021. Still frontloaded.