Yankees busy day before trade deadline
NEW YORK (AP) — Reshaping their pitching staff for the stretch run, the Yankees acquired right-hander Lance Lynn from Minnesota on Monday while dealing Adam Warren to Seattle.
Ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for trades without waivers, the Yankees sent first baseman/outfielder Tyler Austin and right-handed pitching prospect Luis Rijo to the Twins for Lynn. Minnesota will give $2 million to the Yankees to cover half of the $4 million remaining in Lynn’s $12 million salary.
Already, Lynn was looking forward to returning to Fenway Park, where he got a no-decision Friday in his second career appearance at Boston.
“I’ve never been to Fenway as Yankee. I think they dislike you even more, so that should be exciting,” he said. “I’m guessing they say a little bit nastier things to Yankees players than they do anybody else.”
Lynn becomes the long reliever in place of Warren, who was dealt to the Mariners for $1.25 million in international signing bonus pool allotment. He joins Luis Cessa as insurance for a starting rotation that includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray and newly acquired J.A. Happ.
“At this time of the year, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” Lynn said. “For me in my career I’ve done a lot of things, whether it’s out of the bullpen in the playoffs or even the bullpen in my rookie year for a little bit. I’ve done different things and I still feel like I’m capable of doing that, whatever it may be.”
The 31-year-old Lynn was unsigned throughout the offseason before joining the Twins on March 12. He was 7-8 with a 5.10 ERA in 20 starts, walking 62 and striking out 100 in 102 1/3 innings. His average fastball velocity rose slightly to 94 mph, and he mixes in a sinker and cut fastball along with occasional curveballs and changeups.
“It’s the New York Yankees. As a fan of the game growing up, it’s exciting for me as a young kid seeing them in their heyday winning a lot of World Series championships,” he said. “You look at their team now, they’re going for it. I’m excited for that opportunity and that challenge. It’s going to be a different experience.”
Lynn has bonus provisions of $1 million each for 170 and 180 innings but is unlikely to reach those with New York. Lynn can become a free agent after the World Series.
He missed the 2016 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, then was 11-8 with a 3.43 ERA in 33 starts for St. Louis in 2017.
New York has raised its international bonus pool to $8,752,600 from an original $5,002,600, enabling it to sign teenage prospects for what it expects to be a long competitive run — 16-year-old Cuban right-hander Osiel Rodriguez was the latest, agreeing Monday to a $600,000 bonus. The Yankees are $1,950 shy of their maximum bonus pool, the second straight year they’ve essentially maxed out on bonus allotment.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has made six trades in seven days, the most prominent acquiring reliever Zach Britton from Baltimore and Happ from Toronto. He also dealt left-hander Chasen Shreve and right-hander Giovanny Gallegos to St. Louis for minor league first baseman Luke Voit and $1 million in pool space, and minor league left-hander Caleb Frare to the Chicago White Sox for $1.5 million in pool space.
New York’s bullpen is headed by closer Aroldis Chapman, and includes Dellin Betances, Britton, David Robertson, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder, A.J. Cole and Lynn.The 30-year-old Warren, often used as a long reliever, was 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 24 appearances this season, interrupted by a stint on the disabled list from April 21 through June 3 caused by a strained back. He has a $3,315,000 salary and is eligible for free agency after the season.
Warren was traded to the Cubs in December 2015 in the deal that brought second baseman Starlin Castro to New York, then reacquired the following July along with second baseman Gleyber Torres and outfielders Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford in the deal that sent closer Aroldis Chapman to Chicago.
After helping the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908, Chapman re-signed with the Yankees.
Austin, 26, made his major league debut against Tampa Bay on Aug. 13, 2016, combining with Aaron Judge to become the first teammates to homer in their first major league at-bats in the same game.
But Austin never became a regular with the Yankees, slowed by a broken left foot and right hamstring injury last year. He hit .223 with eight homers and 23 RBIs in 121 at-bats for New York this year and .247 with five homers and 11 RBIs in 97 at-bats with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The 19-year-old Rijo is 4-1 with a 2.77 ERA in five starts and two relief appearances this year for Class A Tampa and Staten Island, and rookie-level Pulaski.
By Ronald Blum of the Associated Press. AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell in Minneapolis contributed to this report.