The Los Angeles Dodgers badly needed to upgrade their starting rotation at the trade deadline, which is why many fans were puzzled when Lance Lynn was acquired from the Chicago White Sox. At the time, he led the American League in earned runs and home runs allowed. How was this going to help?
Turns out, the Dodgers and Andrew Friedman might've known more than we did. Lynn is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in his first two starts for LA (13 IP, 4 ER, 3 BB, 13 K). He's defeated the Oakland A's and San Diego Padres with two quality outings, including a win on Sunday Night Baseball against LA's division rival.
So what's the secret? Lynn was eating innings and piling up strikeouts in Chicago, but everything else looked grim. After less than two weeks in LA, he's turned in two of his best starts of the entire season. Was it a mechanical tweak? Was it renewed energy joining a contender?
Or was it the right-hander exiting the chaotic situation in Chicago? On Sunday, his former teammate, reliever Keynan Middleton, who was traded to the New York Yankees at the deadline, had some harsh comments about the White Sox.
If fans know anything about Lynn throughout his MLB career, it's that he's a fiery competitor and thrives when the stakes are high. Perhaps the last two years in Chicago played a role in taking that away from him.
Has Dodgers' stability saved Lance Lynn from White Sox chaos?
"We came in with no rules. I don't know how you police the culture if there are no rules or guidelines to follow because everyone is doing their own thing. Like, how do you say anything about it because there are no rules?- Keynan Middleton, ESPM
You have rookies sleeping in the bullpen during the game. You have guys missing meetings. You have guys missing PFPs (pitcher fielding practices), and there are no consequences for any of this stuff."
Does that sound like an environment Lynn would thrive in? The White Sox have been a laughingstock for two seasons now and the right-hander's play may have suffered as a result. He finished 2018-2021 with Cy Young votes, slipped up a bit in 2022 and dealt with injuries, and then completely fell off the map in 2023.
The Dodgers offer a winning culture, stability and a blank slate for those looking to rediscover themselves. All three of those advantages help Lynn, who's been stuck in one of the worst situations in all of MLB with his disppointing and dysfunctional the White Sox have been.
We probably wouldn't go as far as Bob Nightengale, who called this the best acquisition of the trade deadline, but it was surely a shrewd under-the-radar move many didn't think would pay positive dividends this quickly.