Lance Lynn filed for arbitration earlier in the week, and according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Cardinals opted to extend the 27-year old right-handed starter. The three-year extension is reportedly worth $22 million.
Lynn was arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason, but St. Louis felt it would be beneficial to lock him up now. In 2014, Lynn went 15-10 and posted a 2.74 ERA and 3.35 FIP in 203.2 innings pitched. That ERA was the best in his short major league career, and he has been a durable option, tossing at least 175 innings in each of the last three seasons. Lynn also added his first major league complete game in 2014.
Although he was a projected starting pitcher, the Cardinals did not slot Lynn into the rotation until 2012. He is 48-26 with a 3.48 ERA in games he has started. While Lynn is now signed until he reaches 30, the Cardinals did not buy out any of Lynn's free agent years by extending him. He averaged $500,000 per season the last three years, and the deal reportedly has incentives that can make it worth up to $23.5 million.
Lynn will make $7 million in 2014 and $7.5 million in each of the two subsequent seasons. The deal also includes a $500,000 performance bonus based on starts made in 2016, and a $1 million bonus in 2017. A $125,000 each bonus for making 25,27,29, and 31 starts in 2016 is included, with a $250,000 bonus for each number of starts the following season.
Despite the fact they are not getting extended team control, the Cardinals acknowledged Lynn's contract situation before completing the deal. He was expected to earn $5.5 million in arbitration, which would set a record for first-time arbitration eligible pitchers. The deal could be beneficial for St. Louis, notably if Lynn continues to improve moving forward.