St. Louis Cardinals: Lance Lynn sought a return, but Cards weren’t interested


The former St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher is set to sign a one-year deal with the Minnesota Twins this week.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Lance Lynn tried to rekindle the fire with the St. Louis Cardinals before agreeing to sign with the Minnesota Twins. Unfortunately for him, the Cardinals did not reciprocate the same interest. After declining a qualifying offer, a one-year/$17.4 million deal, Lynn is now set to sign with the Minnesota Twins on a one-year/$12 million deal.

Earlier in the off-season I predicted Lynn would sign a 5-year/$100 million deal. Then reports emerged saying the deal was actually close to a three or four-year deal for less money. By the time we knew what was happening in the off-season to just about every free agent, the market froze and left Lynn waiting in the cold.

While the St. Louis Cardinals have made some great moves and some questionable moves, I can’t deny the pure brilliance behind the handling of Lynn.

From the moment it was clear the two sides would not reach an agreement, the St. Louis front office went to work on how to best maximize Lynn’s value to the team. We heard trade rumors during the trade deadline, but never saw a deal. I suggested maybe the Cardinals asking price was too high, or maybe the teams were selling Lynn too low. Either way, the Cardinals missed on that opportunity.

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The next best move they could have made was to offer him a qualifying offer upon hitting free agency. As we all know, free agents who decline a qualifying offer activate the draft compensation caveat upon signing with another team.

It’s for this particular reason all the moves the Cardinals made this off-season make more sense.

The Cardinals are coming off a penalty for the hacking scandal in which they saw a couple of high draft choices go to the Astros (like they need it). They used the qualifying offer to their advantage, knowing Lynn would reject the QO in order to cash in on the system.

At the same time, it’s hard to imagine the Cardinals wanting to sign any player with draft pick compensation attached to their name either.

Besides money, why else would the Cardinals not take their chances on Jake Arrieta, Mike Moustakas or Greg Holland?

To Goold’s point in his article, maybe teams overvalue draft picks too much. I mean, the team is throwing away a chance at winning now and perhaps in the immediate future for potential. It’s a maddening philosophy, but again it makes sense to me for the Cardinals. Do I agree with it? Hardly, but then again what about this off-season has made any sense?

Next: Carpenter to return Tuesday

Thanks Lance Lynn for your time in St. Louis. Good luck in Minnesota. They have a great team coming along. You will be missed!