Lance Lynn, Chicago White Sox
As I said earlier, all three of these options are very different from one another, but all three have the potential to help the Cardinals in 2024, including a reunion with Lance Lynn.
Lynn has an $18 million club option for 2023, which makes him a really interesting starter to look at for 2024.
Let's start by saying I do not think the Cardinals would view Lynn as their best pitching option to bring in for 2024. Remember, they need three arms minimum if not four. Lynn would likely come at a very low-cost trade asset-wise, and the $18 million figure is nothing crazy for a one-year deal.
While Lynn's performance has been rough this year, going 5-8 with a 6.03 ERA, he does have 127 SO in just 103 innings pitched. Lynn's strikeout stuff is still there, meaning there is potential for him to turn things around.
I'm not advocating for this move, but just take a moment to look at the reasoning with me. The Cardinals are going to need to take a risk on at least one starter this offseason that may not have been great in 2023 but has the stuff to be better in 2024. They can do that in free agency, but it may cost more annually and may require multiple years. Lynn may just require a name like Juan Yepez or some other lower-valued prospects/fringe big-leaguers.
If the Cardinals did acquire Lynn, I'd still expect them two to take two more swings, one in free agency and one in the trade market, with at least one of those deals being for a front-line starter. Lynn could be a higher upside middle or back end of the rotation acquisition, which depending on the cost, could be interesting for St. Louis.