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Heyman | Could Lance Lynn be final piece for Twins?

Jon Heyman



May 16, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn (31) pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins still have “some flexibility” to pursue a starting pitcher if they find a deal they like. And sources suggest that pitcher of interest could be Lance Lynn, who they seem to prefer among the remaining top free-agent starters.

After losing out on Yu Darvish, who they met with quietly in Texas and offered $100 million over five years, they have been in touch with all the top starters. However, there’s still a gap in talks.

There hasn’t been much buzz surrounding Lynn, but the Twins do seem to like him. One Twins person suggested the asking price hasn’t moved much, or enough, to this point, but that doesn’t mean a deal is impossible. The Twins expect Ervin Santana back a few weeks into the season, and their rotation would be decent once he returns (the newly-acquired Jake Odorizzi and Jose Berrios front it now).

But is it playoff worthy?

Some believe the Twins may have overachieved last year (their excellent manager Paul Molitor did get Manager of the Year after all, thanks to the team’s 25-game rise), but with a seemingly weak division, they would appear to have a chance to return to the playoffs, at least as a wild card. The Indians look like a clear favorite again, but the White Sox, Royals and Tigers are in clear rebuilding mode, giving them an opportunity that may be too good to pass up. They should be able to pile up a decent victory total, so long as their pitching keeps their excellent offense in games.

The pickup of Odorizzi was a huge positive step, as he is a veteran of AL East wars and may be able to take a nice step up. Odorizzi is the likely Opening Day starter, and he is said to be “thrilled” about the timing of the trade, though it was a bit unusual (the Rays are a rare team to conduct a fire sale in spring training).

The Twins have done a nice job rebuilding the bullpen with reasonable pickups of Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed and Zach Duke, and have now added six pitchers in all. But one more starter might be especially nice.

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Jon Heyman is an MLB Insider for FanRag Sports, featuring breaking news, information and his Inside Baseball column, which appears on FanRagSports.com every Thursday. Heyman also has been an insider at MLB Network since the channel launched in 2009 and is a regular contributor to WFAN in New York, where he appears weekly on the Joe and Evan Show and previously appeared on the Mike and the Mad Dog Show. He also appears on WSCR in Chicago, WBZ-FM in Boston and the Petros and Money Show on Fox in Los Angeles. Heyman comes to FanRag Sports from CBSSports.com, where he worked for five years and wrote the popular Inside Baseball notes column. Before going to CBS, Heyman worked for five years at Sports Illustrated and SI.com, where he was a senior writer and started an Inside Baseball Column. Heyman worked for 16 years at Newsday in New York, where he was the Yankees beat writer, a baseball columnist and finally a general sports columnist. Heyman started his career at the Moline (Ill.) Daily Dispatch, then moved to the Los Angeles Copley Newspapers (Torrance Daily Breeze and Santa Monica Outlook) before going to Newsday. Heyman at one time also served as a national baseball writer for The Sporting News. Heyman is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. The Santa Fe, N.M. native grew up in Cedarhurst, N.Y., on Long Island.