The A’s acquired pitcher Mike Minor from the Texas Rangers before the 2020 MLB trade deadline due in large part to the uncertainty of the season.
With the A's facing every challenge imaginable during the COVID-19 pandemic, having an extra arm was necessary in case games were postponed and doubleheaders were scheduled.
There indeed were plenty of doubleheaders.
Another Rangers pitcher that was connect to the A's before the deadline was Lance Lynn. It still could be a perfect fit.
Hear me out …
In 2020, Lynn boasted a 3.32 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 84 innings. He also started the most (13) games during the shortened 60-game season and finished sixth in AL Cy Young voting. Now, we still don’t know what next season will look like in regard to the number of games, fan attendance, etc., but this would be the perfect opportunity for the A’s to make a splash.
Lynn has spent the last two seasons with the Rangers, which means he’s already comfortable with the AL West teams, and with Lynn scheduled to make $9.33 million in 2021, he's not too expensive for the A’s to take on.
Former A’s World Series MVP and current NBC Sports California analyst Dave Stewart mentioned Lynn at the end of the season, saying Oakland should have gone after him.
MLB Trade Rumors just released their A’s offseason outlook and mentioned Lynn as well. The chance to obtain him is still available.
As far as what this hypothetical trade could consist of, the A's could use their surplus of infielders to make it happen. The A’s have made it clear they want to bring infielder Tommy La Stella back and he looks to be the starter at second base if he were to return.
The position already is crowded with possibilities, with Tony Kemp and Chad Pinder, but those two also are arbitration-eligible. I don’t foresee the A’s letting Pinder go. Now, I’m not saying this would happen, but Vimael Machin and prospect Sheldon Neuse also could be possible trade options.
As it stands now, the A’s might have A.J. Puk back to full health after undergoing shoulder surgery in September. And while it wasn't a major surgery and the A’s plan on continuing to use him as a starter, his injury history could force Oakland to add more arms.
Chris Bassitt, who finished in eighth place in AL Cy Young voting, put up a sensational season in 2020 boasting a 2.29 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 63 innings. He went from possibly not making the starting rotation out of Summer Camp to being the team’s most dependable reliever.
This also gives me an excuse to show off Bassitt's curveball again.
Mike Fiers now is a free agent, so the A's could fill his spot in the rotation with Lynn. As for the rest of the rotation, Frankie Montas (5.60 ERA in 2020) and Sean Manaea (4.50 ERA) didn’t have the season most of us anticipated, but that could be attributed to the strange year.
Jesús Luzardo also looks to take another step in his development in 2021.
The A’s need something to spice up the rotation. The money isn’t a lot and the commitment to Lynn doesn't go beyond next season, so with A’s are looking to repeat as AL West champs, it make sense to acquire the 33-year-old.
It would be a win/win for both the A's and Lynn.