CHICAGO — 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 extension for the All-Star right-hander.
The 34-year-old Lynn is 9-3 with an AL-best 1.99 ERA in 16 starts. He was acquired in a December trade with Texas 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. Sox won 10-1.
"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 release. “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.
Later in the day, Lucas Giolito pitched a three-hitter, José Abreu launched a three-run homer and the White Sox rolled past the Astros.
Tim Anderson, Zack Collins and rookies Gavin Sheets and Jake Burger also went deep as the White Sox broke out against the Astros after dropping the first five games in the season series by a combined 34-9 score.
Anderson had three hits in the matchup of AL division leaders, and Burger's seventh-inning solo shot was his first career homer.
Giolito (8-6) struck out eight and walked none while throwing 107 pitches in his fifth career complete game. After Michael Brantley doubled with one out in the first, Giolito retired 22 in a row before Abraham Toro connected with two outs in the eighth.
None of Houston’s first 16 outs against Giolito came on grounders. All were on fly balls, popups or strikeouts until Jose Altuve chopped the ball to third baseman Yoán Moncada for the final out of the Houston sixth.
Astros right-hander Jake Odorizzi (3-5) permitted four runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings. He entered with a 1.04 ERA is his previous five outings.
Collins and Anderson went deep on consecutive pitches from Odorizzi with one out in the third. Both homers may have been boosted from a steady breeze that was blowing out.
Sheets made it 6-0 with a two-run drive off Brandon Bielak in the fifth, and Abreu’s 16th homer was a three-run shot to left against Joe Smith in the sixth.
Abreu’s homer was No. 214 for his career, moving him into a tie for fourth place with Carlton Fisk on the franchise list.