St. Louis Cardinals: Both Lynn and Weaver penciled to start tomorrow

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 4: Starter Lance Lynn
ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 4: Starter Lance Lynn /

As the St. Louis Cardinals brace for a loud trade deadline, many questions still surround starting pitcher, Lance Lynn.

St. Louis Cardinals‘ starting pitcher, Lance Lynn, is becoming quite the commodity this trade deadline. The Cardinals’ front office has a week to make a decision, or so we think. After Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the situation between the team and Lynn was “fluid,” there might be a bit of a tipping-hand now.

Earlier today, Goold pointed out that both Lance Lynn and Luke Weaver are penciled to start Tuesday’s game against the Colorado Rockies. *Correction* Both starters are scheduled to make starts on Tuesday for their respective clubs, St. Louis and Memphis. The Cardinals have aligned the pitchers starts in the event Lynn is traded. Weaver would then be able to plug into the rotation on normal rest.

At the moment, there are no deals involving Lynn, but it is interesting to see how the Cardinals are playing this situation.

In Goold’s article, from July 22nd, John Mozeliak spoke to Lynn about the ongoing trade situation. Lynn has gone on record saying he would like to stay in St. Louis. As a starter in St. Louis, Lynn has a record of 68-44 with a 3.37 ERA. He has also struck out 827 batters in the same span. Lynn is known as a bulldog pitcher, and the St. Louis Cardinals would surely miss him.

John Mozeliak did offer a little more insight into the Cardinals’ thinking in Goold’s article as well.

"“The thing for the Cardinals and my role with the Cardinals is to try and look at what is best for us short term and also long term. Where Lance plays into that it can be a little muddy. He knows where we stand, and if nothing else has the peace of mind with that knowledge.”"

While Mozeliak’s comments aren’t exactly eye-opening, at least we know something is being discussed with Lynn. Realistically, the St. Louis Cardinals have three options: Sign him to an extension, trade him, or let him walk elsewhere.

As I mentioned earlier, Lynn wants to be in St. Louis. What we don’t know is if that feeling is mutual. I think some of the front office brain trust wants Lynn to return to St. Louis. He has recovered nicely from Tommy John surgery, and might be better next year after a full year removed from the surgery. The only problem in keeping Lynn is the young pitching prospects the Cardinals have waiting.

For the Cardinals to keep Lynn, they must be absolutely convinced Lynn provides more worth and value than the most ready pitching prospect they have now. The one thing that will hinder the Cardinals decision is Lynn’s age. While he may do better next year, it’s hard to keep a pitcher like him when you have the likes of Alex Reyes, Luke Weaver, and Jack Flaherty all making noise.

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If the St. Louis Cardinals feel like Lynn is worth the extension, then the Cardinals will more than likely move pitching prospects for another piece the team needs, like a three hitter.

However, I just don’t see it working out like that. Lynn has been great, no doubt, but I can’t see his future being in st. Louis past this season. I’d love for him to return, but it’s just not be the right fit.

With all that said, lets talk trade speculation. Earlier last week, the Royals were linked to Lynn. However, as of today, the odds of Lynn heading west on I-70 are slim because of the Royals’ acquisition of Trevor Cahill. What about other teams interested in Lynn?

The Rockies and Astros may have some interest in the starter, but nothing has materialized as of yet. I wrote an article suggesting the Yankees would be a good fit for Lynn, considering the injury to Michael Pineda. Regardless of which team is interested, the Cardinals’ front office has one job: Get the best piece or pieces you can for Lynn.

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While Lynn doesn’t have the controllable years like Jose Quintana, the asking price for Lynn should be pretty high. Fortunately, the Cardinals sit in the driver seat with Lynn. Desperation is their ally. Should a team become desperate, the Cardinals will carefully look at all offers on the table. In my opinion, if the Cardinals deal Lynn to a contender, the Cardinals need to receive a pitching prospect and a short stop prospect at the very least. If they can get better, or a close to ready player, then by all means go for it.

Trading him shouldn’t be difficult for the Cardinals, given the season Lynn has had. However, if the asking price for Lynn is too high, the Cardinals will have to sit on a decision till the off-season. At the point the decision returns to re-signing him, or let him walk. Since I’ve discussed re-signing him already, I’ll talk about letting him walk.

First off, the St. Louis Cardinals wouldn’t just let Lynn walk for nothing. More than likely, Lynn will be slapped with a qualifying offer. Should another team sign Lynn to at least a fifty million dollar deal, the Cardinals could possibly get a first-round pick in next year’s draft (Thanks Tazlaz). The obvious catch-22 here is Lynn signing the offer, but would it be a huge deal? I don’t think so. We’d more than likely have this conversation again at next year’s trade deadline.

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Secondly, lets say the Cardinal don’t offer him a QO, is letting him walk for nothing bad? For the sake of argument, I’ll say no. Here is why it wouldn’t be a bad option. You have Alex Reyes, Luke Weaver, Jack Flaherty and Co., all ready for their chance in the rotation full-time. Now, Reyes and Flaherty are not locks by any means. Reyes is coming off injury, and Flaherty still needs some grooming. However, Weaver looks to be ready for full-time rotation duties.

The younger pitchers may provided some boost to the rotation that Lynn cannot give. Granted, Lynn has the experience on the young guns, but he is just susceptible to a bad year at an older age as the prospects are due to their age.

Either way the Cardinals have a tough choice ahead of them. The only thing I ask for is logic in whatever move they do. If you trade him, get the pieces needed for the future playoff runs. If you re-sign him, then make young pitching available to acquire other team needs.

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With the trade deadline a week away, the St. Louis Cardinals have some tough decisions ahead. I think the hardest one will come in the form of what to do with Lynn. Hopefully, the Cardinals can make the right move to stay in contention this year and in the future.