Lance Lynn found a new deal in free agency, joining the St. Louis Cardinals on a one-year contract plus an option for 2024, per multiple reports.
Jeff Passan at ESPN was first to report the deal. Ken Rosenthal and Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic reported the pact as well, and like Passan had the deal pegged at a $10 million guarantee. Jon Heyman at the New York Post reported the guarantee at $11 million, including a $10 million salary for 2024 plus a $1 million buyout of his 2025 option.
Lynn was drafted by the Cardinals in 2008, and pitched his first six major league seasons for St. Louis, through 2017.
The Dodgers on November 5 declined Lynn’s $18.5 million club option for 2024, instead paying the right-hander a $1 million buyout.
Lynn proved durable in 2023, his 32 starts his most in four years, and his 183⅔ innings 23rd-most in the majors. But among the 45 pitchers who qualified for leaderboards, Lynn’s 5.73 ERA and 5.53 FIP were second-worst in the majors, ahead of only Jordan Lyles.
The Dodgers were in desperate need of innings in July, with a rotation decimated by injuries and the worst starters’ ERA in a month since World War II in team history. So they traded for Lynn, acquiring the veteran starter along with old friend Joe Kelly from the White Sox on July 28, despite Lynn’s 6.47 ERA with Chicago.
Lynn actually allowed home runs at a higher rate with the Dodgers (5.9 percent of batters faced) than he did with the White Sox (5.2 percent) during the regular season, which added up to 44 total home runs allowed, tied for the sixth-most in major league history.
But for the most part Lynn did provide what the Dodgers traded for, averaging 5.81 innings in his 11 starts, of which the Dodgers won nine games.
Home runs proved Lynn’s undoing in the NLDS, when he made history be authoring the first four-homer inning in MLB postseason history in losing Game 3 in Phoenix to complete the D-backs sweep.
Lynn made $18.5 million in 2023, of which the Dodgers paid about $6.47 million.
He turns 37 in May.
In his 12 major league seasons, Lynn has a 3.74 ERA, 3.79 FIP, and 112 ERA+ in 1,889 innings over 344 games and 317 starts, with 1,906 strikeouts and 660 walks. He’s one of 13 active pitchers with at least 300 career starts.