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Lance Lynn continues to struggle for Twins

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It was a travesty this offseason when starter Lance Lynn went — like many other free agents — jobless until late into the winter and early spring. Lynn ended up settling for a one-year, $12 million contract with the Twins. He just turned 31 and underwent Tommy John surgery in late 2015 but had been a reliable starter his entire career and put up strong numbers in his return last year.

Unfortunately for the Twins, Lynn has been abysmal this season. Facing his former team on Wednesday afternoon, Lynn gave up three runs to the Cardinals on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts in three innings. He now owns a 7.47 ERA with a 41/29 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings.

Lynn has lasted fewer than five innings in half of his eight starts. He has allowed five or more runs in half of those starts. His ERA is fifth-worst in baseball (min. 30 innings) behind only Josh Tomlin (8.10), Matt Moore (8.03), Marcus Stroman (7.71), and Kendall Graveman (7.60). Lynn’s average of only 1.41 strikeouts for every walk is eighth-worst in baseball. According to FanGraphs, only 17 pitchers have given up more hard contact than Lynn (40.8%) and only nine have given up more home runs as a percentage of fly balls (20.0%). Any way you slice it, it’s been an awful year so far for Lynn.

The AL Central is baseball’s worst division with the Indians leading the way at 21-21. The Twins hold second place with an 18-21 record. Getting Lynn to right his ship would go along way towards giving the Twins a leg up in a wide open division.

The Reds have “jumped into” the J.T. Realmuto sweepstakes

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The Cincinnati Reds have popped up in rumors for a lot of players that one would not normally expect. Free agents like Dallas Keuchel and, earlier, Patrick Corbin. Trade bait like Yasiel Puig. I’m not sure how serious any of that pursuit has been. Maybe it’s just P.R.-driven noise aimed at making Reds fans think the team is going for it or whatever, but it’s been kind of fun. The Reds have, basically, been that guy who shows up in everyone’s photos from the party even though no one knows who he came with or why he was there.

The latest hot stove photobomb for the Reds is Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. Craig Mish of SiriusXM reports that they have “jumped into” his trade market.

There seems to be some room to jump, as the talks with the Mets are perceived to have cooled off in the past 24 hours. It’s also the case that the Reds are far more likely to be able to improve via a trade than via the free agent market, as the Reds aren’t as attractive a landing spot as a lot as some other places. Still, given that the Marlins are the trading partner, it will almost certainly cost a lot in prospects or young big league talent to get Realmuto and that’s the sort of talent the Reds should not be in the business of giving up, so it’s hard to see a match.

But hey, the party is fun. Why not hang out for a while?