Dane Dunning will be making his first appearance at Guaranteed Rate Field since being traded this offseason. The talented right-hander was dealt in exchange for Lance Lynn as the Chicago White Sox hoped to solidify their rotation as they geared up for a 2021 World Series run. While it is still early to declare a clear winner of the trade, this is a good time to reflect on how the move has panned out for each team thus far.
The Chicago White Sox will see Dane Dunning in a road jersey on Friday night.
Dunning enters Friday’s game with a 14 inning scoreless streak. He has been superb for the Rangers posting a 0.60 ERA in 15 innings of work. He also has a 1-0 record with 16 strikeouts. In his previous start against Baltimore, he threw 6 scoreless innings while striking out five and walking none.
Many fans were disappointed to see Dunning go. He has above-average control which is hard to find. He also has a fastball with lots of movement. To complement his fastball, Dunning has an array of secondary pitches that keep hitters off balance. He does have a Tommy John surgery but if he can stay healthy he projects to be a very good number two starter in the league.
The White Sox gave him the ball to start their do-or-die elimination game against the Athletics in 2020. He lasted a third of an inning which is part of the reason the White Sox felt they needed to acquire a third starter.
Dunning was the casualty of the rebuild ending. Good teams sometimes need to make sacrifices and trade away prospects to acquire more talent. The White Sox did just that when they shipped Dunning off to Texas.
Lance Lynn was the return that Dunning netted. He will only be a one-year rental for the White Sox as his contract expires after the 2021 season. While he may not be here for the long haul, the White Sox felt that what Lynn brings to the table was worth the investment.
He led American League pitchers in innings, pitches/game, games started, and complete games in 2020. He finished sixth in the AL Cy Young voting. Lynn is also ranked eighth among MLB right-handed pitchers in strikeouts from 2012-2020. He was brought in to eat innings and win ballgames. So far this season, Lynn has done just that.
In three games Lynn owns a 0.92 ERA. His biggest start to this point was during the home opener when he threw a complete-game shutout over the Royals. It was a day that the White Sox bullpen desperately needed an off day and Lynn rose to the challenge by going the distance in dominant fashion. He also tossed a quality start against the Indians only allowing two runs in six innings of work.
Ultimately this trade will only be viewed as a success if the White Sox win a World Series this season or manage to resign Lynn. If he can keep up this production, it is safe to say it was worth it for the White Sox regardless of what Dunning does.