Update (7:26 PM ET): The trade is official.
Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that the Twins have acquired first baseman Tyler Austin and minor league pitcher Luis Rijo from the Yankees in exchange for starter Lance Lynn. Lynn is owed the remainder of his $12 million salary, some of which the Twins will cover in the trade.
Austin, 26, has hit .223/.280/.471 with eight home runs and 23 RBI in 132 plate appearances this season for the Yankees. The Twins could choose to go with Austin full-time at first base next season if the club declines Logan Morrison‘s $8 million option for 2019. If the club picks up that option, Austin could platoon with Morrison. Austin will be under club control through 2022.
Rijo, 19, was signed by the Yankees as an international free agent out of Venezuela. He has pitched in rookie ball as well as Low-A Staten Island and High-A Tampa this season. Altogether, Rijo has posted a 2.77 ERA with 32 strikeouts and three walks in 39 innings of work.
Lynn, 31, got off to an abysmal start, carrying a 5.94 ERA through the end of May. He has turned things around since, compiling a 4.30 ERA in his last 10 starts. Still not great, but better. Overall, the veteran right-hander is 7-8 with a 5.10 ERA and a 100/62 K/BB ratio in 102 1/3 innings.
The Yankees already bolstered the back end of the rotation by acquiring J.A. Happ from the Blue Jays. It would seem Lynn would work in middle relief for the Yankees and serve as an emergency starter if needed.
Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.
It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.
While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.
If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.