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Lynn likely to re-sign with Cardinals?

MLB.com

Redbird return in play?
Lance Lynn has been nothing if not consistent in his six seasons with the Cardinals (he has posted an earned run average 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.

Redbird return in play?
Lance Lynn has been nothing if not consistent in his six seasons with the Cardinals (he has posted an earned run average 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.

:: Free agent buzz ::

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.

Yankees monitoring Lynn's market
With reported targets Yu Darvish and Todd Frazier now off the market, the Yankees' free-agent plans could begin to take shape. MLB.com's Jon Morosi reported Sunday that the club has kept tabs on Lance Lynn this offseason, but it's not clear if the veteran right-hander will fit into their remaining budget of about $15 million for between now and Opening Day.

Morosi noted that while the Yankees have some room before they reach the $197 million luxury-tax threshold, they would still like to maintain payroll flexibility for potential Trade Deadline moves.

The Yankees have also been linked to Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi, a frequent subject of trade rumors this winter. The club's current rotation projects to include Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, Sonny Gray, CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery.  -- This report was first posted on Feb. 11.

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.

Meanwhile, the Rays could be interested in Lynn if they trade fellow right-hander Jake Odorizzi. The Mets are mentioned as a potential suitor and could use stability in the rotation after injuries caused them to employ 12 starters in 2017. -- 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.

Lynn likely to sign after Darvish, Arrieta
Viewed as a respectable second-tier arm among this year's class of available starters, the reality of Lynn's case is that he may be a fallback option for clubs aspiring to sign Jake Arrieta or Yu Darvish. In that vein, Lynn could either benefit from a potential megadeal one of those bluechips would sign, thus establishing his market, or -- as has played out -- he may be hamstrung by waiting deep into the offseason to land a job.

According to a Jan. 28 report from MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, at least one Major League executive opined that neither Lynn or Alex Cobb -- a fellow free agent starting pitcher viewed in the same neighborhood of value as Lynn -- would make a prospective club feel better about losing out on Darvish or Arrieta.

"I see them both as No. 3 or 4 starters," the executive said. "Neither gets me excited, but I'd take them both on my team."

Lynn, who turns 31 in May, re-established his value last season after returning from Tommy John surgery and embodying the longevity he showed before the elbow injury. He led the National League with 33 starts reached 175 innings for the fifth time in as many as his full Major League seasons. His career 72-47 record and 3.38 ERA show an established body of work. He may not present a frontline presence that Darvish or Arrieta would, but he'd be an asset to a team seeking dependable rotation depth.

Lynn rejected a $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals, which would attach him to Draft pick compensation for whichever club signed him, dependent on the contract he signs and the acquiring club's luxury-tax status. -- This report was first posted on Jan. 28.

Lance Lynn