The Chicago White Sox needed to make a big move following the 2020 season as their pitching rotation was not deep enough.
They made the bold move of trading promising young prospect Dane Dunning to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Lance Lynn. This was a move that announced to the world that the White Sox were officially in win-now mode.
Lynn's final year in Texas was incredible. He came in 6th place for the America League Cy Young that season thanks to his .332 ERA, 1.060 WHIP, and 89 strikeouts in 84.0 innings pitched. Of course, that was the shortened COVID-19 60-game season.
When he got to the White Sox in 2021, he kept the dominance going. Lynn pitched in 157.0 innings where he struck out 176 batters, had an ERA of 2.69, and a WHIP of 1.070. All of this earned him a third-place finish in the AL Cy Young vote.
Lynn was okay in 2022, but he was nothing like the previous handful of seasons where he was elite. He made 21 starts as he was injured in the early part of the season. In those 21 starts (121.2 innings pitched), Lynn had an ERA of 3.99, a WHIP of 1.134, and 124 strikeouts.
Lance Lynn's time with the Chicago White Sox came to an end in 2023
2022 turned out to look much better for Lynn when you saw his 2023 season come around. That is when he started to start pitching poorly for the White Sox. He had a 6.47 ERA when they traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the deadline.
He brought it down a little bit with them as he had a 4.36 ERA with them. In total, his number landed at 5.73 for the year. He couldn't even make it through three innings during his one playoff start so it wasn't surprising when the Dodgers decided to let him walk in free agency.
On Monday, we learned where his next MLB home is going to be. He signed a one-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals which is the team that drafted him. Lynn was a member of the Cardinals from the time he was drafted in 2008 until the end of the 2017 season.
With St. Louis, he won the World Series and went from being an average reliever to a very good starter. Now, he will return there at 36 years old as they are looking for a bounce-back year as well. They were awful last year and are hoping that Lynn can help their pitching staff in the short term.
Lynn also has a club option for the 2025 season so it is on him to earn a stay for a second year. He had outstanding strikeout numbers last year which is something to build on but he needs to let up significantly fewer home runs as he gave up 44 last year which was his career high by far.
The NL Central is competitive right now but the Cardinals are always trying to win. It will be fun to see him in a much better situation (we hope) than the White Sox provided last year.