Tha Sports Junkies 101

It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Lance Lynn

Lance Lynn LI Phil/ via


It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Lance Lynn

Lance Lynn has been one of the Cardinals best pitchers since 2012.  Other than his 2016 season, which was shut down due to injuries, he has been a horse in the middle of the St. Louis staff.  From 2012-2014, only two pitchers, Adam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw, had more wins for a National League team.  He is certainly not the most efficient pitcher, averaging 153 pitches per nine innings, throughout his career, but his numbers do not lie.  His career ERA is 3.41, with a record of 66-44.  However, he is in a contract year, and is likely to sign his next one for near $100 million.  The Cardinals should not be interested, at that price.  They have too many young pitchers coming up, and Lance Lynn is already 30.

Options for Lance Lynn

The Cardinals have three options, with Lynn.  Their first option would be to extend a qualifying offer, which he will turn down, and then receive draft compensation when he signs elsewhere.  The second option is also extending the qualifying offer, but then, making a push to re-sign him, though this would quickly get too expensive, and too long term. The third, and best option, would be to trade Lynn, at this year’s deadline.

Trading Lynn

If the front office does decide to go this route, they should expect a decent return.  And, with needs in the bullpen, infield, and middle of the lineup, they should be able to find a good trade partner.   There are a few teams, that look to be buyers, that are looking for starting pitching.  Most notably, the Houston Astros, the Boston Red Sox, and the Texas Rangers.

The Houston Astros

The Houston Astros are a team looking for a starter.  With a postseason birth almost imminent, they are looking for someone who could start behind Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers, in a playoff series.  Lance Lynn would definitely fit that bill, pitching in 24 post season games, in his career.  A return from the Astros, however, may not be what the Cards are looking for.  The players that Houston has been rumored to be willing to let go, do not fit the Cardinals’ needs.

The Boston Red Sox

Another trade partner could be the Boston Red Sox.  These two teams have hooked up recently, in the exchange that brought John Lackey to St. Louis, but this time, the Red Sox are the team in search of starting pitching.  A trade with Boston would probably be for bullpen help. The Red Sox have a couple of pitchers, the Cardinals could look into.  The most intriguing is former Cardinal Joe Kelly.  Kelly is having one of the best seasons of his career.  He owns a 3-0 record, and a 1.10 ERA, in 31 relief appearances, and is regularly hitting triple digits on the radar gun.  The other option, out of the Boston pen, is lefty Robby Scott.  Scott has a 2.50 ERA, in 31 games, and would provide the Cards a much needed left-handed reliever.

The Texas Rangers

Sitting at just two games out of the second Wild Card spot, the Rangers are expected to be buyers, barring a major collapse.  They will be looking to add a proven starting pitcher, to compliment Yu Darvish, and push them into the postseason.  Lance Lynn could be just that pitcher.  And, the Rangers may have what the Cardinals are looking for, in return.  Twenty-five-year-old relief pitcher Alex Claudio, like the Astros’ Robby Scott, could be the left-handed relief help St. Louis needs.  He has a 2.54 ERA, in 35 appearances and 22 strikeouts to just 8 walks.  Another young relief pitcher, 24-year-old Keone Kela, would help solidify the Redbirds’ pen.  Kela has a 2.73 ERA, in 29 games, and 41 strikeouts in 29.2 innings.

Rangers Position Players

The Rangers may be the only team, of the three teams mentioned, that has position players, that the Cardinals would be interested in acquiring.  Though the Rangers are not likely to give him up, and it would definitely take some prospects packaged with Lynn, Elvis Andrus would be a great fit for the Cardinals.  Andrus is only 28-years-old, and is under club control for four more years, at $15 million per year.  He is a plus fielding shortstop, with a plus bat, and plus speed.  This season, he has hit .299, with 9 home runs, 45 RBI, and has swiped 18 bases.  Andrus would solidify the St. Louis infield, and add a solid veteran presence to the lineup.  However, the Rangers are not readily looking to part ways with him, for obvious reasons.

A more realistic option, from the Rangers, would be 23-year-old Joey Gallo.  Gallo can play first, third, and left, and would provide the pop that the Cardinals need, in the middle of the order, with his 20 home runs and 40 RBI.  However, he has struggled to get on base consistently, with an OBP of just .296.  Also, his average leaves a lot to be desired, at .197.  That said, because of his 20 home runs and 11 doubles, he is slugging .517, which is just what the Cardinals need, out of the three or four hole.