The St. Louis Cardinals announced Thursday that starting pitcher Lance Lynn has been signed to a three-year, $22-million contract which bought out his three arbitration years.
It's a solid move that benefits both sides. The Redbirds potentially get a bargain for one of the winningest National League pitchers the last three years. The players gets an insurance policy that guarantees he'll be set for life if he suffers a career-ending injury.
The only downside is that the deal may make it tougher to sign Lynn to an extension that will keep him in St. Louis beyond his free agent years. Typically, teams ask for a player to sacrifice a free agency year or two in exchange for financial security. That wasn't the case here. With a nest egg in the bank, Lynn will be more likely to decline a future extension before he hits the open market. And once he's free to sign with any team, the chances of bringing him back at a below market price will be slim.
But that's something to worry about in the future.
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Hopefully, by putting the money distractions aside, Lynn will be able to concentrate on taking the next step after a very solid 2014 campaign. Meanwhile, the Cardinals will have some cost certainty as they consider other, potentially more expensive acquisitions to rebuild the team core as Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright's primes come to an end.
Of course, the other benefit to this deal is the entertainment value that comes from the complainers who say Lynn, statistically, doesn't deserve the money because "all he does is pile up wins."