The Cardinals avoided arbitration with Lance Lynn today, opting instead to sign the right-hander to a three-year, $22 million deal.
Lynn, 27, was arbitration eligible for the first time this off-season, but the deal buys out the remainder of his arbitration years at a very reasonable rate for St. Louis.
Lynn made $535,000 last season and Matt Swartz projected him to earn $5.5 million in arbitration this winter coming off a stellar season that saw him win 15 games with a 2.74 ERA, 1.262 WHIP, and a 181/72 K/BB ratio in 202.2 innings.
The former first-round pick has been one of the club’s most reliable and durable starters since joining the rotation in 2012.
Over the last three years, he’s racked up 48 wins, a 3.48 ERA, 1.297 WHIP, and a 2.64 K/BB ratio while averaging 194 innings per season.
Ultimately, it’s a win-win for both the player and the club.
If Lynn continues pitching at his current level, St. Louis will be getting a serious bargain over what he may have earned in arbitration.
All the while, while Lynn may have left a lot of money on the table by signing the extension, he is now guaranteed $22 million should he suffer an injury or regression before he hits free agency as a 30-year-old following the 2017 season.
The move also gives the Cardinals additional financial freedom to make more moves now that they have a handle on Lynn’s salary for the next three years.
It’s possible this could serve as the precursor to another addition this winter; the club rumored to have interest in free agent starters James Shields and Max Scherzer.