The MLB trade deadline is just days away and the Blue Jays, like most teams in postseason contention, will be working the phones trying to bolster their starting pitching depth.
Chicago White Sox starter Lance Lynn is one of the many interesting names likely on the move this week, but it doesn't look like a trip to Toronto will be an option for the veteran right-hander.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Lynn has 10 teams on his no-trade list (subscription required). The Blue Jays are among the destinations to which he can block a trade. The good news is that some of the Jays' direct rivals for a playoff spot also appear on the list, including the Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners.
While Lynn can waive the trade restriction for any team he wishes, as of right now, it looks like GM Ross Atkins will have to look elsewhere for pitching help, which may not be a bad thing.
Are the Blue Jays better off without Lance Lynn?
It's no secret that the 36-year-old, in his third year in Chicago, has had one of the more head-scratching campaigns in a season marked by inconsistent starting pitching across the league.
With a 6-9 record, Lynn has given up the most runs (87) and home runs (28) by any qualified starting pitcher, leading to an unseemly 6.18 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. On the flip side, he's pitching to a career-best 10.88 K/9, and his 139 strikeouts rank him 10th among qualified starters.
Blue Jays fans saw the best version of Lynn recently when he turned in a vintage performance before the All-Star break. If you missed that one, he threw a seven-inning, one-hit, 11-strikeout gem against a meek-looking Toronto lineup. Following the script of his season, he allowed 13 runs over his next two starts out of the break.
The old baseball adage is that you can never have enough pitching, which is true. In this case, however, not having Lynn as an option at the deadline may be a blessing in disguise for the Jays.
He may be a good option for a team with some cushion in the standings and wiggle room to give the veteran a chance to sort himself out. The Jays, unfortunately, have little margin for error in their battle for a Wild Card.