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Cardinals reunite with Lynn on 1-year deal reportedly worth $11M

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Lance Lynn's career has come full circle.

The veteran right-hander signed a one-year deal with his original team, the St. Louis Cardinals, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak announced Tuesday. His deal also includes a club option for 2025.

The contract is worth $11 million in guaranteed money, with another $3 million available through bonuses, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports. The club option is worth $12 million, with a $1-million buyout, a source told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Lynn was re-introduced to St. Louis alongside another free-agent starter, Kyle Gibson, who inked a one-year, $12-million deal with the Cardinals.

Lynn, 36, split last season between the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers, who acquired him at the trade deadline. In 32 total starts, he posted a career-worst 5.73 ERA and 1.39 WHIP while allowing an MLB-high 44 home runs. His stats improved down the stretch with the Dodgers, but he was rocked in the playoffs, surrendering a postseason-record four homers in one inning during his start in Game 3 of the NLDS.

St. Louis has prioritized starting pitching this offseason after its rotation posted a collective 5.08 ERA in 2023. Cardinals starters also failed to miss bats, posting a 6.92 K/9 rate that was second-worst in baseball, ahead of only the Colorado Rockies.

The Cardinals are hoping that they can help Lynn rediscover the form that made him a Cy Young contender at the start of the decade. Lynn received AL Cy Young votes in every season from 2019-21 and was a finalist for the 2021 award during what was his most recent All-Star campaign.

Lynn was originally drafted by the Cardinals in 2008 and made his debut three years later. He spent his first seven seasons in St. Louis, helping the team to a World Series title as a rookie in 2011 and another National League pennant in 2013. His 8.46 K/9 rate as a Cardinal currently ranks third in franchise history.

Lynn's made a name for himself as a reliable innings-eater, surpassing the 200-inning mark three times and throwing at least 150 frames in all but two of the last seven seasons. His 1,889 career innings currently place 10th among active pitchers.

Over his 12-year career with six teams, Lynn owns a 136-95 record with a 3.74 ERA, 3.79 FIP, 1.27 WHIP, and 1,906 strikeouts.

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