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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.

Report: Yankees close to signing Gio González to minor league deal

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Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees are close to signing starter Gio González. Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the deal is of the minor league variety that will pay González $3 million if he makes the major league roster.

González, 33, made 27 starts for the Nationals before being sent to the Brewers ahead of the now-defunct August 31 waiver trade deadline. In aggregate, González went 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA and a 148/80 K/BB ratio in 171 innings. He was solid in his five starts with the Brewers, going 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA.

Neither Luis Severino nor CC Sabathia will be ready for the start of the season, so González will add some immediate depth at the back of the Yankees’ rotation. Sabathia will likely return before Severino. When that happens, González may be pushed out of the rotation.