CARLSBAD, Calif. — A big honor for the self-appointed "Big Bastard."
Lance Lynn was named a finalist for the American League Cy Young Award on Monday, a top-three finish in the voting for the Chicago White Sox' big right-hander.
Lynn, acquired in a win-now December trade with the Texas Rangers, instantly moved past his hired-gun status by endearing himself to South Side fans. He had a similar effect on his new organization, too, to the point that the White Sox gave him a contract extension during the summer.
He also pitched tremendously, earning consideration for the top pitching honor in the Junior Circuit by posting a 2.69 ERA and striking out 176 hitters in 157 innings of work. Lynn delivered exactly what the White Sox were looking for when they made the trade, another reliable presence at the top of the rotation after the lack of a third starting-pitching option forced their playoff elimination in 2020.
Lynn impressed his teammates not only with his "bulldog" personality on the mound — "He's up there like, 'Hey, I'm about to dominate,'" Dylan Cease said of his rotation mate, "'and there's nothing you can do about it.'" — but with his leadership ability, becoming a go-to guy for young pitchers in the clubhouse.
And Lynn became an instant fan favorite on the South Side, fans appreciating his on-field howls and use of profanity and laughing along with his one-liners during postgame press conferences. It was a mutual feeling for the big righty, who said that the South Side felt more like home than any place he'd pitched in his career prior.
The White Sox and their fans gave Lynn the due he earned during the season. Now with the season over, he's getting his due for what he did on the mound, earning his third straight top-six Cy Young finish and the highest spot in the voting in his career.
We'll find out exactly where he finished — along with fellow finalists Robbie Ray of the Toronto Blue Jays and Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees — when the Cy Young winner and voting results are announced next Wednesday.