Not long after shipping Adam Warren off to Seattle, the Yankees flipped Tyler Austin and right-handed pitcher Luis Rijo to the Twins in exchange for Lance Lynn and cash considerations. It’s already an official deal! Brian Cashman pulled off the surprising move, netting the Yankees some pitching depth. It sounds like the team might use him out of the bullpen, though starting isn’t out of the question.
The right-hander was one of the many players who struggled to find a new home over the offseason. He finally inked a deal with the Twins in mid-March, missing most of spring training. Lynn, 31, has pitched to a 5.10 ERA (4.73 FIP) across 102.1 innings. His strikeout numbers are decent (8.79 K/9), but his walk rate is sky high. He hasn’t worked out of the bullpen since 2012, so that should be interesting.
Austin, 26, has been an up-and-down player for the Yankees this season. He hit .223/.280/.471 with eight home runs over 132 plate appearances. Austin had legitimate power to right field, which made him such an intriguing bat at Yankee Stadium. That has been on display since his first at-bat in the big leagues.
The Yankees selected Austin in the 13th round of the 2010 draft. He had a long, rocky career in the minor leagues before finally making his debut in 2016. The first baseman/outfielder has a career .230/.287/.459 batting line with 15 home runs, good for a 97 wRC+.
Rijo, meanwhile, is a 19-year old right-handed pitcher. He owns a 2.77 ERA (2.47 FIP) across 39 innings split between Low-A Charleston and High-A Tampa. He joined the Yankees as part of the 2015 July 2nd class.
This is an interesting move. Lynn wasn’t rumored to be on the Bombers’ radar, and he doesn’t seem like the best fit. It almost feels like Cashman is up to something else. For now, though, the Yankees added some flexibility, and that’s also important.