Free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, 36, has signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. The move could have some impact on the negotiations of Ryu Hyun-jin, who is similarly valued in the free agent market.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported on Nov. 21 (ET), “St. Louis has agreed to terms with Lynn on a free agent contract. His one-year guaranteed salary is about $11 million, and he can earn up to $14 million in combined performance-based incentives. The two-year guarantee is worth $25 million if the team option for 2025 is exercised.
On the same day, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that Lin had agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal with St. Louis with a club option for 2025, reuniting the two sides after the Cardinals selected Lin in the draft 15 years ago.
The bankruptcy reporter added, “The deal includes performance-based bonuses and incentives, and he’ll make $26 million over two years if the 2025 option is exercised. There’s not much difference between the two reports: more than $10 million guaranteed for one year, with incentives and a second-year team option.
St. Louis had a 5.08 starting ERA this season, 26th out of 30 teams. Only Miles Mikolas and Steven Matz are guaranteed starting spots next year. “Young left-handers Matthew Liberatore, Zach Thompson, and Drew Storen are also candidates for the job, but all of them have had severe ups and downs this year,” the Passan reporter said, adding that “St. Louis is looking for at least three starting pitchers this winter.
Selected by St. Louis in the first round of the 2008 draft, Lynn made his major league debut in 2011 and pitched for the Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last summer, where he pitched in the postseason before becoming a free agent. His best years were with St. Louis, where he pitched through 2017.굿모닝토토
In 32 appearances for the White Sox and Dodgers this season, Lin went 13-11 with a 5.73 ERA, and took the loss in Game 3 of the division series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, giving up four runs on six hits in 2⅔ innings. He was particularly embarrassed by the four solo home runs he allowed in the third inning alone.
Lin was born in May 1987 and will be entering his age 37 season next year. He’s still considered a pitcher who can extend his career. In this free agency, Lin has been compared to Ryu Hyun-jin, who is the same age. Ryu was born in March of the same year.
The Athletic’s Tim Britton, in an article predicting the salaries of major free agent pitchers, listed Ryu’s projected contract as “one year, $11 million plus incentives”. Britton explained that he used “free agent and extension contracts signed in the last decade, as well as previous big contracts, and linked them to their seasonal performance, specifically Fangraphs WAR (fWAR).” He concluded that “Ryu has regressed since 2020, but he’s had longer stretches of outstanding performance than Maeda. He pitched well upon his return from TJS.
Ryu made a comeback in the second half of the year, throwing 52 innings in 11 games. USATODAYYonline
Britton lumped Ryu into the same category as Lin and Genta Maeda, projecting Lin and Maeda’s contracts at one year and $10 million. This is a more generous estimate of Ryu’s value.
New York Post columnist John Heyman, in an article titled “Predicting the contracts of major free agents” on March 3, ranked Ryu 15th, saying that “a solid finish to the season could lead to a major league contract,” and introduced his projections as “Expert 1: $13 million for one year, Expert 2: $10 million for one year plus incentives, Me: $12 million for one year. All three experts, including myself, estimated Ryu’s free agent contract at more than $10 million.
However, ESPN ranked Ryu above Lin in its free agent rankings, projecting him at two years and $14 million and Lin at two years and $16 million.
After undergoing Tommy John surgery last June and a 13-month rehabilitation, Ryu returned in early August and pitched 52 innings in 11 games, posting a 3-3 record with a 3.46 ERA, 38 strikeouts, a 1.288 WHIP and a 0.257 batting average. Local media called it a “successful comeback.