At the time of this article, no substantial talks have happened between Lance Lynn and the St. Louis Cardinals as he was declared a free agent after the World Series ended. The Cardinals will assuredly offer a qualifying offer, one Lance Lynn said he would decline according to the St. Louis Dispatch. If this is a farewell to Lynn in a Bird’s uniform, it was a productive, yet unappreciated time he spent in St. Louis.
Lynn finishes his Cardinal career with a 3.38 ERA, with his best season in 2015, where he went 15-10 with a 2.73 ERA. If anything, Lynn was a model of consistency, Never going above a 4 ERA and only going under a 3 ERA once. He was more than just an innings eater, though he did that quite well. Lynn has pitched 175 innings or more since he first played a full year back in 2012, excluding 2014, when he went under Tommy John surgery. When Pitchers like Wainwright and Alex Reyes endured injuries, Lynn stepped up in a big way, leading the staff with young arms such as Martinez and Wacha coming alongside.
Lynn never had a losing record in his six years with the Cardinals. His 72-47 record speaks of how well he pitched. His 72 wins rank 21st overall through that time period and would admittedly be higher if he had not missed 2014 due to Tommy John. He is, however, entering his age 30 season, so the Cardinals may not be comfortable going four or five years that Lynn might want in free agency. Lynn uses his fastball more than any other pitcher in the league, and a downtick in that velocity could diminish his effectiveness.
2018 is a big year for the St. Louis Cardinals, as they lose Oh, Rosenthal, and Lynn to free agency this Fall. With young arms such as Luke Weaver and the returning Alex Reyes, the Cardinals have the starting pitching arms they need, but an inning eater who has plus stuff in Lynn could have bolstered a rotation that will lack experience heading into 2018.
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