Lance Lynn: Salary Arbitration or Contract Extension?


St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn is eligible for arbitration but is expected to bypass arbitration and get a contract extension with a hefty pay raise.

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After what Lynn has accomplished over the past few seasons, he is deserving of every penny that he gets with what should be a contract extension. The Cardinals, as they have in years past, will likely have a player sign a contract extension during or prior to Spring Training. It may happen while the Cardinals are down in Jupiter preparing for the 2015 season.

The question to ask on Lynn is whether the Cardinals buy out only the arbitration years through an extension or if they decide to give the Indiana native a long-term extension. Lynn, who made his debut in June 2011, is under team control through the 2017 season. With three years left before Lynn becomes a free agent, one has to believe that a long-term extension is on the agenda. Lynn turns 28 in May and has posted a career record of 49-28 with a 3.46 ERA since debuting in 2011.

The key dates in arbitration calendar are as follows:

"Jan. 13 — Salary arbitration filingJan. 16 — Salary arbitration figures exchangedFeb. 1-21 — Salary arbitration hearings"

With the figures being exchanged on January 16, I would not be surprised at all if the Cardinals were to make some sort of announcement during their annual Winter Warm-Up. After all, the local media would already be on hand for any kind of a press conference?

It’s not just Lynn that John Mozeliak and company have to worry about. The Cardinals also have to focus on what they plan to offer Jon Jay, Tony Cruz and Peter Bourjos over the next few weeks. Jay should get a decent pay raise as he’ll be the primary center fielder based on his output from the 2014 season.