Updates on Lynn, market for starters

December 12th, 2018

LAS VEGAS -- With and already off the board, the starting-pitching market might be ready to begin sorting itself out.
According to sources, the markets for both J.A. Happ and are beginning to become clearer -- and they look eerily similar. Ken Rosenthal reported early Wednesday that the Yankees are closing in on a deal with Happ for three years.
The Astros, Yankees, Blue Jays, Rangers and Reds were engaged with the agents for both pitchers, while the Phillies were also in on Happ and the White Sox on Lynn.
Both pitchers are believed to be seeking three-year deals, though many teams are looking to sign them for two seasons.
"These guys could both move soon," one source said. "Once one goes, the other should follow quickly."
Charlie Morton also fits into this equation, as some of the same teams are believed to be interested in the right-hander, who is believed to be seeking a two-year contract.
As for one of the popular names on the trade market, a source said it is becoming less likely that the Giants will deal this winter, though it still can't be ruled out. A midseason trade seems more likely if the Giants are not in contention, the source said.
Indians starters and remain prime trade chips, while the Mets continue to flirt with the idea of trading .
is considered by many to be the top pitcher left on the free-agent market, though not all of the teams interested in Happ and/or Lynn are keen on the idea of handing out the type of contract the former Cy Young Award winner is looking for.
Japanese left-hander Yusei Kikuchi could also emerge as a fallback plan for teams in search of starting pitching, though unlike the other free agents, Kikuchi has a strict time frame to land a deal, with a Jan. 2 deadline if he wants to make the move to the Majors.

The Phillies and Yankees are considered the front-runners for Happ, though neither team is believed to have moved to three years as of Tuesday evening. Happ started his career in Philadelphia and pitched the final two-plus months with the Yankees last season, so he's quite familiar with both organizations and cities.
Happ went 17-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 31 starts for the Blue Jays and Yankees last season, making the All-Star Game for the first time in his career. The southpaw went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts for New York after being acquired prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Although New York would love to have Happ back, the Yankees seem hesitant to offer a third year.

Lynn's season was not nearly as appealing, as he went 10-10 with a 4.77 ERA in 31 games (29 starts) for the Twins and Yankees. Lynn, who didn't sign with the Twins until March 12, got off to a rough start, going 1-4 with a 7.47 ERA in his first eight outings.
Lynn turned things around after that, pitching to a 3.74 ERA over his next 12 outings before being traded to the Yankees on July 30. He posted a 4.14 ERA in 11 games (nine starts) for New York, though his numbers -- including a 2.17 FIP -- suggest he pitched much better than his ERA would indicate.