September 17, 2014

Time for a big #Cardinals payday for Lance Lynn?

Lance Lynn
Over at Sports on Earth, Jenifer Langosch has a good profile of the current success of the Cardinals righty, Lance Lynn.

Lynn tends to get overlooked in the Cardinal rotation, especially behind ace Adam Wainwright. Langosch notes that's too bad, because of this:
Lynn has no use for a facade, which is why, when recently asked about having more wins (48) since 2012 than any other NL starter not named Clayton Kershaw or Wainwright, Lynn quipped: "For a guy who averages 15 wins a year over a career, I'm one heck of a four or five." A fourth or fifth starter? "That's what you have been telling me I've been my whole career," he finished.

Realistically, he's a solid, ongoing No. 3.

Unlike Shelby Miller, and certainly, Carlos Martinez, he's consistent. Unlike Michael Wacha, certainly Jaime Garcia, or a bit like Miller, he's been injury-free.

No, he doesn't have No. 1 starter stats. For a team as pitching-deep as the Cards, he doesn't really have No. 2 stats, though he could at least be a No. 2 for many teams.

That said, this coming year is his first arbitration year. Langosch brings that up:
He'll head into arbitration this winter as one of only three pitchers in franchise history -- joining Dizzy Dean (1932-36) and Harry Brecheen (1944-48) -- to win 15 or more games in three straight seasons, starting as a rookie or sophomore. He's been a bargain to this point, too, collecting less than $2 million since debuting in 2011. Market value for his contributions from then until now (according to a metric that converts a player's WAR to a dollar scale based on what that player would make in free agency) is nearly $50 million.
And, to be honest, the Cat's first two years were, of course, during World War II.

So, what will the Cardinals do? Add to it this:
"He's strong. He's tough physically. He's tough mentally," manager Mike Matheny says. "He's one of those guys that as he gets deeper in the game, he seems to get better. And he's still young. That's a nice combination."
Well, he's not going to be cheap.

My personal suggestion is that John Mozeliak offer him, speaking of $50 million, a contract of four years and $50 million. That would buy out all three arbitration years plus his first year of free agency, while still leaving Lynn young enough for a full free agency contract after that.

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