Twins' offer to Lynn turned down
Free-agent right-hander Lance Lynn turned down a two-year, $20 million offer from the Twins, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Lynn went 11-8 with a 3.43 ERA and 153 strikeouts in 33 starts for the Cardinals last year after missing the entire 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery. The 30-year-old compiled a career record of 72-47 with a 3.38 ERA in 183 appearances (161 starts) in six seasons with St. Louis.
The Twins had pursued right-hander Yu Darvish and other frontline free agent starters earlier this offseason, eventually seeing Darvish sign with the Cubs.
Minnesota acquired right-hander Jake Odorizzi in a trade with the Rays last month to bolster its rotation after veteran Ervin Santana had surgery on his right middle finger. Santana's recovery is likely to cost him a couple of months of the regular season. -- This report was first posted on March 6.
Lynn FA buzz: Phils maintaining interest
The Phillies have been in touch with Lynn's camp in recent weeks, according to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.
A deal might be close at the moment, but Philadelphia has been actively monitoring the free-agent market for a starting pitcher this spring with camp already underway in Clearwater, Fla. In the past few weeks the club has also had dialogue with free-agent righty Jacob Arrieta. Morosi reports the Phillies have entertained the possibility of signing two of the remaining free-agent starters. While finanicially viable for the Phillies, it remains unlikey.
:: Free agent buzz ::
The Phillies recently named right-hander Aaron Nola their Opening Day starter, but they lack reliable rotation options after him. Jerad Eickhoff had an uneven 2017 season (4.71 ERA), and Vincent Velasquez -- while occasionally dominant -- has struggled to stay on the mound and been inconsistent when healthy, posting a 5.13 ERA in 15 starts last year. Lynn would offer someone with a proven track record to slide in behind Nola. -- This report was first posted on Feb. 28.
Yankees intersted in Lynn
The Yankees, looking to add to a rotation that already should stack up as one of the best in the American League, have "maintained contact" with right-hander Lance Lynn since the start of the offseason, according to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.
Morosi speculates the Yankees are in a better position to sign Lynn now than earlier in February, when it seemed like New York might make a run at free-agent third baseman Mike Moustakas.
However, acquiring Brandon Drury from the D-backs gives the Yankees a cheaper option at the hot corner while retaining "roughly $25 million in spending power for additional signings, trades and callups" per Morosi, while staying under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold.
New York already has Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and Carsten Sabathia slotted into their top four rotation spots, and bringing in Lynn would give the team more time to continue developing promising youngster Jordan Montgomery, who went 9-7 with a 3.88 ERA in 29 starts in 2017.
Morosi expects Yankees general manager Brian Cashman to do one of two things: upgrade at starter now while the asking prices for Lynn, Jake Arrieta and Alex Cobb may have lessened, or wait until the non-waiver Trade Deadline to deal for a hurler as the club gears up to make a run at the World Series.
Lynn, 30, is 72-47 with a 3.38 ERA in 183 games (161 starts) across parts of six seasons with the Cardinals. He has exceeded at least 175 innings in each of his past five seasons he's pitched (he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and missed all of 2016). -- This report was first posted on Feb. 25.
Redbird return in play?
Lance Lynn has been nothing if not consistent in his six seasons with the Cardinals (he has posted an ERA at or above the league-adjusted average in five of those campaigns), yet his name remains on the free-agent market.
MLB Network insider Jon Heyman speculated in a post for FanRag Sports that the Draft pick that a signing team would have to give up -- on account of the one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer Lynn rejected in November -- might be a sticking point and a reason the right-hander remains unsigned. For that reason, Heyman predicted Thursday that Lynn will eventually winding up re-signing with the Cardinals, with the Brewers, Mets, Phillies and Twins being other clear contenders for his services.
There would appear to be a potential spot on St. Louis' rotation should the Cardinals find a way to sign Lynn. Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright figure to be reliable options, but plenty of question marks accompany Miles Mikolas (returning to the Majors after a three-year stint in Japan) and sophomore righty Luke Weaver. A reliable innings-eater like Lynn would certainly give Cardinals manager Mike Matheny some added peace of mind every fifth day. --This report was first posted on Feb. 15.
Line for Lynn appears to have gotten longer
Given the development, or lack thereof, of this year's standstill free-agent starting pitcher market, Lynn finds himself in an unenviable position of waiting for the chips to fall ahead of him.
Lynn has still yet to find a home, but a report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold suggests seven to eight teams have shown interest in the right-hander.
Interestingly, Lynn's former team, the Cardinals, are not among those Goold listed. Although they extended him a qualifying offer, the Cardinals seem content for now to stick with their existing rotation.
Among those interested include the Brewers, Cubs, Mets, Nationals, Orioles, Rays and Twins.
The Brewers, Twins and Orioles have the most need for starting pitching among that group. Minnesota and Milwaukee will be without their best starters -- Ervin Santana and Jimmy Nelson -- for the beginning of the season, while Baltimore is still trying to fill three spots in its rotation left by departed free agents.
The Cubs and Nationals are looking to round out their rotations as they look to defend their respective divisions. Each has four rotation spots set but could use Lynn's durability over younger options. -- This report was first posted on Feb. 8.
Lynn engages discussions with Orioles
Desperately in need of starting pitching depth, but potentially hesitant to sign a multi-year deal for as much, the Orioles last week engaged in contract discussions with Lynn, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. However, negotiations did not advance to a serious stage. The Orioles had shown interest as early as November, per MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.
"Agents and rival clubs say the Orioles routinely go hot and cold in discussions, making them difficult to read," Rosenthal reported.
The Orioles are in need of at least two starting pitchers to round out their rotation -- currently listed as some form of Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Gabriel Ynoa, Miguel Castro and Alec Asher -- and have also been linked to free agents Andrew Cashner, Jason Vargas and Chris Tillman, per Rosenthal. Orioles starters last year finished with the Majors' worst ERA (5.70) and fewest innings (846) in the American League. -- This report was first posted on Feb. 7.
Twins' offer to Lynn turned down