The Yankees continued the recent reshaping of their pitching staff, acquiring right-hander Lance Lynn from the Minnesota Twins and sending right-hander Adam Warren to the Seattle Mariners in separate deals Monday.
The trades bring to five the number of deals General Manager Brian Cashman has made involving pitchers in the last week, including acquiring starter J.A. Happ, reliever Zach Britton and Lynn, who could be used in either role, while sending away Chasen Shreve, who was dealt to St. Louis on Sunday, and Warren, who goes to a Mariners squad that is trying to upgrade its bullpen as it competes for a playoff berth.
Cashman may not be done dealing before Tuesday’s nonwaiver trade deadline. The Yankees are trying to stay within reach of the Boston Red Sox even though Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are expected to be out until at least mid-August. The Yankees did not play on Monday, but they were five and one-half games behind the Red Sox before Boston’s game against Philadelphia. The Yankees begin a four-game series on Thursday at Fenway Park.
The three pitchers the Yankees have acquired — Happ, Britton and Lynn — are all free agents this off-season, and came at a modest price. The deal for Lynn cost the Yankees two minor leaguers: first baseman Tyler Austin, who has been unable to carve out a niche on the major league roster, and Luis Rijo, a right-handed pitcher at Class-A Tampa.
Lynn is 7-8 with a 5.18 earned run average, easily the worst season of his career. He has pitched better of late, with two solid starts against the Red Sox in the last six weeks, allowing two earned runs in 11 innings, though he did allow nine hits and six walks.
The Twins are picking up about half of the nearly $4 million remaining on Lynn’s contract, according to a baseball official who was not authorized to discuss the deal. In exchange for Warren, who is 0-1 with a 2.70 E.R.A. in 30 appearances, the Yankees acquired international bonus pool money.
Warren’s remaining salary (about $1 million) will be picked up the Mariners, leaving the Yankees about $5 million under the $197 million luxury tax threshold. Hal Steinbrenner, the team’s principal owner, wants to stay under that threshold so the team can avoid increased tax penalties if it goes over next season.