For Lance Lynn, it was pretty simple.
“There’s no point in going into free agency if you know where you want to be,” he said.
Lynn is enjoying his first season on the South Side of Chicago, and the White Sox feel the same way. So they solidified their relationship on Saturday, announcing a $38 million, two-year contract for the All-Star right-hander covering 2022-23.
The 34-year-old is earning $8 million in 2021, the final season of a $30 million, three-year contract he signed with Texas in 2018.
Lynn is 9-3 with an AL-best 1.99 ERA in 16 starts. He was acquired in a December trade with the Rangers for right-hander Dane Dunning and lefty Avery Weems.
With Lynn helping anchor the rotation, the White Sox had an eight-game lead in the AL Central heading into Saturday’s game against Houston.
“They’ve put together a winner here,” Lynn said. “That’s what I want to be part of and help to kind of push it over the top to get a championship.”
Lynn will make $18.5 million in each of the next two seasons. The White Sox have an $18 million option for 2024 with a $1 million buyout.
The White Sox like Lynn’s competitiveness on the mound and what manager Tony La Russa called his “vocal” leadership on a team loaded with young talent.
“We are thrilled to be able to keep Lance in a White Sox uniform for the next several seasons,” general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. “He very quickly proved himself to be not only an All-Star-caliber addition to the front of our rotation but also the positive clubhouse presence that we envisioned at the time of the acquisition.”
Lynn said the team’s desire to get a deal done was “an awesome feeling.”
“I really look forward to pitching here the next couple of years and help this organization achieve what they set out to do — and that’s win another championship,” he said.
The White Sox last won the World Series in 2005.
Lynn was selected by St. Louis in the first round of the 2008 amateur draft. La Russa also was his manager when he broke into the majors with the Cardinals in 2011, helping the team win the World Series.
Lynn is 113-74 with a 3.48 ERA in 276 games, including 252 starts.
La Russa said signing Lynn sends a strong message to his players that the White Sox are “getting closer and closer to being an October club.”
La Russa added Lynn is just as competitive as when he was a rookie. The righty just has much more in a repertoire that features various versions of fastballs.
“Now years later he’s got a wealth of experience and more pitches,” La Russa said. “He’s as good as anyone out there taking the ball as a starter.”