Lynn to Twins: Free agent finds new team

March 10th, 2018

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins made their one-year contract with right-hander official on Monday. The deal is worth $12 million.
Lynn is the third major addition the Twins have made since arriving at camp, as they also traded for right-hander Jake Odorizzi on Feb. 17 and inked designated hitter/first baseman on Feb. 28.

The addition of Lynn to the rotation moves the Twins' projected payroll to roughly $130 million, which is a club record, and they'll lose the No. 95 overall selection in the third round of the Draft in 2018 because Lynn rejected the Cardinals' $17.4 million qualifying offer. Lynn, however, cannot be extended a qualifying offer for a second time.

Lynn, 30, solidifies the rotation with his career 3.38 ERA in six seasons with the Cardinals, joining , and Odorizzi as the four-man rotation expected to open the season. It leaves Phil Hughes in line for a long-relief spot, while is likely headed for Triple-A Rochester. The rotation will get a further boost once returns in late April or early May, after undergoing surgery on his right middle finger in early February.
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
The veteran had been linked to the Twins for much of the winter and reportedly turned down a two-year, $20 million deal recently, according to a story this week from the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Lynn missed the 2016 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but remained effective last season, posting a 3.43 ERA in 33 starts. He struck out 153, walked 78 and gave up 27 homers in 186 1/3 innings. He posted career-worst walk and strikeout rates, but the Twins are hopeful that'll improve a year further removed from the surgery, as regaining command is often difficult in the first year back from the operation.
Outside of missing the 2016 season, Lynn was a workhorse for St. Louis, averaging 32 starts and 189 innings and a 3.39 ERA for five years from '12-'17. He's outpitched his peripheral stats throughout his career, as he has a career 3.64 FIP -- including a 4.82 FIP in '17 -- marks which are both higher than his 3.38 career ERA and 3.43 ERA last season.
Lynn is also the sixth notable free agent signed by the Twins this offseason, joining Zach Duke, , , , and Morrison. They're aiming to make the postseason in back-to-back years for the first time since 2009-10, after their surprise run to the AL Wild Card Game last season.

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Although Lynn logged an unimpressive 4.82 FIP last season, he has produced a solid 3.38 ERA across nearly 1,000 career innings. The right-hander warrants late-round attention in shallow leagues after joining a contender in a division with three rebuilding teams, which should ease his transition to the American League by presenting many favorable matchups this year.