Cardinals sign Lance Lynn
The Cardinals' first major move of the offseason involved bringing back a familiar face. Lance Lynn was drafted and developed by the Cardinals and debuted with them in 2011, eventually emerging as a rotation stalwart through 2017 before signing with the Minnesota Twins. Lynn soon blossomed with the Texas Rangers, finishing fifth in American League Cy Young Award voting in 2019 and making the All-Star team with the Chicago White Sox in 2021.
Lynn, known to possess a "bulldog" demeanor, was the type of player the Cardinals wanted to bring leadership and a voice to the clubhouse. The Cardinals signed him to a one-year, $10 million deal with a club option for 2025, and while he could positively contribute to team culture, his ability to capably fill a spot in the rotation is more of a question.
Lynn has long been one of the most fastball-reliant pitchers in baseball throughout his career, but his velocity hit a career low in 2023, with disastrous results. His average fastball was only 92.2 mph, and it led to an unsightly 5.73 ERA and an eye-popping 44 home runs allowed, the most in the major leagues.
Lynn improved to a roughly league-average pitcher upon a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers near the deadline in 2023, and the Cardinals are hoping that he can imitate those results in their pitching staff. It's not a flashy acquisition, and the bust risk is high for the pitcher who will be 37 in May, but the contract is friendly for the Cardinals. At the very least, Lynn has shown that he can go deep into games, which the Cardinals are stressing in 2024.