Except there are a couple of catches. The first is that the Cubs already have five starting pitchers with a recent history of success. And while it’s easy for me to write, Just kick Lackey out of the rotation!, it’s a little trickier to convince the Cubs to give up some of their best prospects to do that, especially when they’ve just given up two of their best prospects to get Quintana.
The second catch is that Darvish is a rental, and he would possibly leave after the season, along with Arrieta and Lackey, with no obvious replacement ready within the organization. While the trade would also serve as a recruiting period for Darvish, who might be the Cubs’ preferred target anyway, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be hard for them to give up top prospects for two months of the regular season and however much postseason they’ll get to enjoy.
Lynn has quietly been one of the more consistent pitchers in baseball, with an adjusted ERA of 130 (2.99 ERA) over his last three seasons combined. He’s almost certainly better than Jason Hammel and Ian Kennedy, the two starters the Royals dumped money on during their last win-now frenzy, and he isn’t likely to cost something silly, like Hunter Dozier.
If the Royals aren’t going to win for a while, they probably wouldn’t mind giving up some prospects from the middle of their top 10 for a three-month rental who could help them get back to the postseason.
On the other hand, they’re just .500 and they’ll have a dozen holes to fill this offseason. Every young, cheap player is sacred.
I’ll give this one a solid B- because it makes a little sense for both teams. It loses points for a) not being mentioned in the danged article at all, and b) that part where the Royals dip into their farm system right the season before they’ll need their farm system more than ever.