On Saturday, the Chicago White Sox announced that they signed their All Star starting pitcher, Lance Lynn, to a two year extension worth $38 million which also includes a $14 million team option or $1 million buyout for the 2024 season. Lynn, now 34 years old, was traded to the White Sox from the Texas Rangers prior to this season in exchange for right hander Dane Dunning. So far in 2021, Lynn has pitched 97.2 inning to a 1.94 ERA, 3.28 FIP, 3.97 xFIP, 3.82 SIERA, and 2.5 fWAR.
Part of what makes Lynn such a valuable pitcher is that he has been a durable innings eater who has been great at keeping runs off the board. Since the start of the 2019 season, Lynn’s 390.0 innings pitched is fifth among all qualified starting pitchers, 3.16 ERA is ninth among all qualified starting pitchers, and 10.6 fWAR is sixth among all qualified starting pitchers.
The White Sox are currently 8.5 games ahead of the second place Cleveland Indians for the American League Central lead and look to be near locks to make the Postseason this season and figure to be World Series contenders for the next few years to come. With Lucas Giolito and now Lynn both locked in with the White Sox through at least 2023, the White Sox have at least two top tier pitchers ready to help anchor the top of the rotation. If the organization is able to extend Carlos Rodon after he becomes a free agent after this season, then they could have a ridiculously good playoff rotation of (in no particular order) Lynn, Giolito, Rodon, and Dylan Cease as they look to win their first World Series since 2005 for the next few seasons.
I would give the White Sox an A- for extending Lynn. Although Lynn is likely to regress from the 1.94 first half ERA he had this season, I expect him to still be a durable pitcher throughout his contract while being an at least 2-3 win player (in terms of fWAR) at worst. Although his peripherals since 2019 (3.40 FIP, 3.99 xFIP, 3.87 SIERA) are significanly higher than his ERA (3.16), they are still very good numbers and if Lynn does regress to the pitcher his peripherals suggest he is, he will still be very valuable at not too high of a price tag.