It’s widely known that the Milwaukee Brewers are in on every starting pitcher available this off season. One of the names they’re looking at is Lance Lynn. But how real is the interest in the big right-hander?
Lance Lynn missed the majority of the 2016 season after Tommy John surgery. He returned to the St. Louis Cardinals rotation in 2017. He turned in a solid, unspectacular season, but were there any red flags?
How did the 2017 season really go for Lynn?
Lance Lynn racked up double-digit wins and posted a 3.43 ERA in 33 starts. All of that is what was expected from Lynn before he was injured. However, there was a dip in velocity, the strikeout totals were lower, and walks were up. Lynn’s K/9 was a full strikeout lower than his career average, and ended up at 7.39. His BB/9 was a career high 3.77. His fastball averaged 91.8 MPH for the season. He’s lost about 1.5 MPH since first call up in 2011.
How serious are these red flags?
Well, if you’re looking to sign Lynn to a multi-year deal, they look serious. Lynn’s xFIP claims he pitched more like a 4.75 ERA pitcher than his 3.43 actual ERA. He got by with a BABIP over 50 points lower than his career average. Lance Lynn is looking more and more like a stay away.
Should the Brewers really stay away?
Lance Lynn will command a deal at least four years in length for more money than most of us will ever see. He’s already on the wrong side of 30, the underlying metrics didn’t look great, and he has a major surgery on his resume. If the Milwaukee Brewers are expecting a starting pitcher to pair with Chase Anderson and Jimmy Nelson at the top of the rotation, Lynn probably isn’t that guy.
Lynn had a solid track record before the surgery, but he’s coming off a mediocre season. The Milwaukee Brewers are better off committing years and dollars to other starting pitchers on the market this off season. Lance Lynn is a stay away unless his price drops dramatically.