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Lance Lynn – Orange County Register

(This is the latest in a series of quick profiles on players who fit for the Angels to add over the winter. They are purely “informed speculation,” based on what we know about the Angels’ roster needs along with General Manager Billy Eppler’s preferences and history. We’ll have a new one every weekday, until the GM Meetings, which are the unofficial start of the hot stove season.)

LANCE LYNN, RHP, New York Yankees

The basics: Although Lynn missed the 2016 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, he’s still been one of the more durable pitchers in baseball. In the six full seasons he’s pitched, he’s averaged 31 starts, with a 3.57 ERA. He will be 32 next season.

2018 season: Lynn was one of the players caught up in the industry’s collective unwillingness to commit to free agents over 30 last year, and he ended up signing with the Minnesota Twins halfway through spring training. He had a 4.77 ERA with the Twins and Yankees, who acquired him in July.

Contract status: Lynn is a free agent, after making $12 million in 2018.

Why he makes sense: The Angels need durability, and Lynn offers that. He’s pitched 175 innings five times. His troubles last season might have stemmed from missing half of spring training, which he’s not likely to do again. Also, his peripherals weren’t as bad as some of his other numbers would indicate. Lynn struck out a career-best 9.2 per nine innings last season. Statcast numbers also suggest that that the quality of contact he allowed should have led to better results. His ERA went from 5.22 in the first half to 4.13 in the second half, much of which he pitched in Yankee Stadium and the hitter-friendly American League East. His fielding independent pitching (FIP) was 3.84. Those numbers all suggest he could be a good bounce-back candidate, especially if the Angels can buy low on him and get him for a one-year deal for something around $9 million or $10 million.

Why he doesn’t: Lynn is still going to be 32 and coming off his worst season, so there’s a chance he’s not going to bounce back and he’s instead going to be the pitcher he was. The Angels might choose to go for one big-ticket pitcher, instead of settling for multiple lesser ones.

Previous players: C J.T. RealmutoRHP Nate EovaldiRHP Sonny Gray, LHP Patrick Corbin, LHP CC Sabathia, UT Daniel Descalso, RHP Julio Teheran, LHP Gio Gonzalez, UT Marwin Gonzalez, LHP J.A. Happ, LHP Will Smith, 3B Mike Moustakas, OF Jon Jay.

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