Dodgers Trade Deadline Rumors: Joe Kelly & Lance Lynn Acquired From White Sox

UPDATE (July 28, 11:45 a.m. PT): The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly in a trade with the Chicago White Sox. Nick Nastrini, Jordan Leasure and Trayce Thompson were traded to the White Sox in the deal.

After acquiring Kiké Hernández and Amed Rosario, the Los Angeles Dodgers figured to focus on addressing their pitching staff with less than one week until the MLB trade deadline on August 1.

The Chicago White Sox had emerged as a likely trade partner for the Dodgers, as they figured to be moving on from the likes of Lucas Giolito, Joe Kelly, Lance Lynn and Reynaldo López, among others, as sellers at the deadline.

The Dodgers reportedly were among multiple teams interested in Giolito, but he was traded along with López to the Los Angeles Angels.

The Dodgers appear to have quickly pivoted by trading for Lynn and Kelly, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Dodgers prospect Nick Nastrini, Trayce Thompson and Jordan Leasure were traded to the White Sox for Kelly and Lynn:

Although the Dodgers were among the teams on Lynn’s no-trade list, it previously was reported he would waive it.

Lynn is 6-9 with a 6.18 ERA, 5.22 FIP and 1.44 WHIP in 115 innings over 20 starts this season. Despite allowing an MLB-worst 79 earned runs and 28 home runs, Lynn provides the Dodgers with an ability to provide length in starts.

The team has lacked in that area while relying on three rookies in their rotation because of a rash of injuries, which in turn placed more of a burden on the bullpen.

Dodgers relief pitchers collectively struggled to begin the season, but have largely improved of late. Now Kelly looks to do the same after recently producing a stretch of six consecutive scoreless appearances that was followed by allowing a run in three of his last four games.

Kelly is 1-5 with one save, a 4.97 ERA, 3.25 FIP and 1.31 WHIP over 31 appearances this season. He missed just over two weeks this month due to right elbow inflammation. Kelly also landed on the 15-day injured list in April because of a right groin strain.

How do Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly help Dodgers?

The bulk of Lynn’s struggles have come against left-handed hitters and a 20.6% home run to fly ball that is well above the league average of 12%. However, Lynn does have a 27% strikeout rate and has recorded at least one out in the sixth inning in 12 of his starts.

Lynn’s contract contains an $18 million team option for 2024, though that can be declined in favor of a $1 million buyout.

Kelly’s peripherals also suggest he could be primed for improvement with some adjustments, as he’s striking out a career-best 32% of hitters and inducing ground balls at a 56.2% rate. One notable change for Kelly is he’s largely abandoned throwing his curveball, which the Dodgers leveraged.

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