Now, I hope my witty title translates into a great article about the Braves trading for a guy with a 6.47 ERA. This is also a guy whose fastball is down to a near career low in velo. This same guy has already given up 28 HRs, the most he has ever given up in a season and we still have two months to play. Lance Lynn is the same guy who has seen his walk rate jump from 3.8% to 8.4%. There is also the fact that the guy is 36 years old and maybe he is at the end of his career.
Trust me, I will get there eventually.
There is reason to think he could be an intriguing trade candidate for a few reasons.
Reason Number 1: What does Tampa know?
The Tampa Bay Rays are reportedly interested in acquiring Lance Lynn. Arguably the smartest franchise in baseball in terms of analytics is considering acquiring the guy with plenty of red flags.
Lynn also has a limited no trade clause that includes the Rays. Unless he just hates the city of Tampa, he would wave it on one condition. the Rays pick up his club option for 2024 the moment the trade is announced.
The Rays are one of the smaller payrolls in the league, and they definitely know that Lynn would ask for his option picked up. If they are considering trading for Lynn knowing they will probably need to commit $18M to their 2024 payroll, there is something there they think can benefit the team down the stretch.
Reason 2: There is some hope
Opposing right handed batters are hitting .208/.284/.368 with a .287 wOBA which is right in line with his career numbers. It is the lefties that have given him trouble, as they are hitting .338/.401/.636 with a .435 wOBA. I imagine a new pitching coach could help bring those numbers down against the lefties with a good adjustment.
He is striking out 27% of batters which is well above league average as well. So he still has the ability to miss bats.
The biggest issue has been the home run ball. He currently sports a 20.6% HR/FB rate which is nearly double the league average. Meaning it is almost impossible for that rate to continue.
Reason 3: He would cost almost nothing
The Braves do not have many trade chips to work with. As we know, the farm system is thin, meaning it can be hard to pull off any flashy trade. As we also know, the Braves do not need to pull off a flashy trade to be successful come October/November.
You still want that trade to mean something though. It comes down to if the Braves think they can tweak something to get him back on track. He would cost next to nothing and the team could deploy him as the 5th starter. If he can just eat innings and be serviceable, that is a win. If the team can get him back to just his 2022 form, it would be a huge win.
Plus the biggest factor would be the Braves would not have to dig too deep into their farm system to pull this off. Lynn does not have the Braves on his no trade clause list. A team like the Rays would probably need to commit to the option before Lynn agreed. Meaning it might limit what the Rays would offer, which could prevent a big bidding war for the Braves.
It is not sexy. The Braves may not even be interested but we are just covering all our bases here and trying to cover as many potential trades as possible. I do not love the idea, but it would be a cheap move and I trust the front office. It could also allow them to make a slightly bigger move elsewhere to improve the bullpen or left field/DH.