Should the New York Mets trade for Lance Lynn if the cost requires a top pitching prospect?
Yesterday, The Athletic’s Jamey Newburg suggested two possible trades between the New York Mets and the Texas Rangers for Lance Lynn. A deal between the two teams was also discussed by Jim Bowden who thinks that the clubs line up in exchanging players.
Newburg’s two proposals had the Mets trading either J.D. Davis and J.T. Ginn in exchange for Lynn OR Matthew Allan and Davis for Lynn and Joely Rodriguez. It safe to say that the Mets shouldn’t say ‘yes’ to either of those trade proposals if they were to be presented.
The thing about trades is that you have to give to get. However, due to the activity former general manager Brodie Van Wagenen on the trade market, the Mets have a much thinner farm system now than they did two years ago. This obviously doesn’t mean that, should the right opportunity come along, the Mets shouldn’t pull the trigger on a trade.
Looking at Lynn’s numbers over the past two years and considering his current contract value of $8M in 2021, there’s certainly an appeal for the Mets to add him to the rotation. Lynn pitched to an ERA of 3.49 over the last two seasons with Texas while compiling 246 strikeouts in 2019, good for a K/9 ratio of 10.6.
There’s no doubt Lynn would be a welcomed upgrade in an otherwise fairly thin free agent market for starting pitching. It just appears that the price would be too steep in talent, especially when you consider that it’s a walk year for the right-hander.
The most recent indications out of Flushing suggest that the Mets will look to shape their roster primarily through free agency rather than through trade, in an attempt to build the farm system that was denuded by Van Wagenen.
As far as adding in Joely Rodriguez in a deal with Lynn, Rodriguez hasn’t done much to move the needle. The left-hander had a decent 2020, but there isn’t much to show beyond that. Both in the minors and the majors, Rodriguez had a ballooned ERA that wasn’t ever under five and a nightmarish BB/K ratio of 1.32.
Rodriguez pitched well in Japan before signing with the Rangers again before the start of the 2019 season, but given his struggles in the majors, there isn’t much to desire if you’re a Mets fan.
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There are plenty of trades to be made for a starting pitcher around the league, some that would cost a top 10 prospect from the farm’s system, but Lance Lynn should not be one of those pitchers. Ranked as the fourth and sixth-best prospect in the Mets minor league system, there’s a lot of upside for both pitchers. It would be unwise to further thin the farm for sake of adding a 33-year old pitcher in his walk year.