Lance Lynn out for the season. Will that change their plans and how does that affect the Cubs?

While you never wish for injury — even to your biggest rival, that is exactly what has happened as the Cardinals have lost Lance Lynn for the 2016 season.  The RHP has undergone Tommy John surgery.

The question now becomes how the Cardinals expect to compensate for that loss.  Adam Wainwright is coming off an injury and top SP prospect Anthony Reyes has been suspended for 50 games, though a loophole exists that if they bring him up to the 40 man roster, he’ll no longer have to serve the suspension.

We shouldn’t rejoice too gleefully as the injury could have unintended consequences in the Cubs own pursuit of pitching.  While the Cardinals have never pursued high ticket pitchers and have been successful under that philosophy, circumstances may  change things.

I still don’t see the Cardinals going after David Price or Zack Greinke — they’re replacing a solid pitcher, not a true ace, but they’ll be competition for the Cubs in terms of being opportunistic in seeking good value from a 2nd tier or mid-rotation pitcher.   It could also just mean they will make a more concerted effort to bring back John Lackey.

The Cardinals also will likely need to replace Jason Heyward, who will almost certainly fall out of their price range.  Some rumors have them connected to Chris Davis to add some power, a weapon they lacked last season,  But having to spread the money out now between Davis and a pitcher probably means they’re not going after the arms at the very top.  It seems that a short term pitcher probably makes the most sense since Lynn will be back in 2017 — but whether that is in addition to Lackey remains to be seen.  Also a factor is whether the Cardinals — a team that succeeds through volume in the draft, would be less reluctant to give up a draft pick to sign a player.

Suddenly the Cardinals are finding themselves having to patch some holes this offseason, though their depth gives them some leverage.  They have Reyes and also Marco Gonzales who could fill spots cheaply.  They could also trade some of their prospect depth for a more established pitcher — perhaps some off the very same ones the Cubs are pursuing, though the Cubs are looking to match up with teams that are seeking RH power bats, something the Cardinals lack.

The Cardinals are usually a team that flies under the radar in the offseason, but it will be interesting to see if circumstances make them a team to watch now.

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  • I hope like hell they pay Chris Davis.

  • Theo follows every thing in baseball and how it effects the Cubs.
    He will find a way to help the team if he can

  • Since he was a competitive balance pick, the commissioner's office should award them 3 picks next draft because Bob Costas and Joe Buck said it isn't fair and STL a has the greatest baseball fans in the world.

    All kidding aside, I don't see how they let Lackey go now.

  • I'm sorry to see him go down only because we used to beat him like a red headed stepchild....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    My first thought exactly

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    The Cubs did have a great approach against Lynn.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    we beat Lyhnn in 2015 like a drum. Prior to 2015, he owned us, If Im right his career record was 9-2 against us prior to this year, we were 3-0 against him in the regular season this year. Frankly, the way our hitters bombed him, I wish he were healthy.

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    Cardinals did just fine without Waino last year; losing Lynn is a much smaller blow to them. Not sure if an Achilles injury will require an innings limit, but swapping out Waino for Lynn still makes the Cards better than last year.
    The Cardinals limped into the last 2 months of last year - they were clearly the third best team in the division. With or without Lynn they were going to need to upgrade to stay competitive in '16.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Any innings limit would come because of the innings jump from one year to the next. But at Wainwright's age that is less of an issue - and the Cards are a win now team so they're probably going to take that risk anyway.

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    As a youth I always rejoiced when the other team's players went down, but as I get older I always feel sad at news like this. I feel bad for Lynn and the Cardinals and the whole roll of a dice that is modern pitching, and I always want to beat the other teams at full strength anyway.

  • I can't see the Cards putting up big dollars for Chris Davis. I think he strikes out too much to fit into their philosophy. While Reynolds had high K numbers he was never intended to be a centerpiece of their team.

  • Like everyone else said, you never rejoice an injury. But from a purely baseball standpoint, anything that hurts the Cardinals and forces them to spend money to fill holes is good news for us. This probably does put them more solidly in the "have-to" re-sign Lackey camp. I'll thank my lucky stars again for our relative good health in 2015, and hope for more of the same in 2016. Not to jinx it, but major injuries can derail a season, unless, of course, you are the Cardinals.

  • Totally OT, but Rick Renteria has been named bench coach for the White Sox. Glad he got a decent position and hopefully he finds his way back to managing a team. It could happen sooner rather than later if the Sox ax Ventura.

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    also OT but Cubs attendance went from 2.6 to 2.9 mil last year and you have to figure another jump next year. An estimate I read a couple of years back was that every 250,000 fans yield 17 mil in revenue. So not even counting the video board revenue, they have, say, a Samardzija's or a Span's salary covered.

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    In reply to SKMD:

    Would prob have been over 3,000, 000 if the bleachers had been completed..... Prob will have a nice jump in attendance next yr as well

  • Cards strike me more of a Shark or Zimmerman type of pitchers that they would pursue.

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    In reply to lokeey:

    More people are spelling Zimmermann's name wrong than Samardzija's. For this reason I hope we sign Rich Hill.

    Also, it's Jason H E Y ward.

  • The Cubs should give Shark a two year deal, then at the trade deadline package him and Hammel together and just rob another team.

  • Any news on the Cardinals and the FBI investigation for hacking into the Astros computer? Maybe MLB's punishment will be take away their extra competitive balance pick they get every year.

  • I pray the Cubs get zimmerman

  • In reply to Jjdgolf:

    I love to ink Zimmerman then parlay the Price savings into signing Fowler. Dexter was the missing link last offseason and he delivered beyond most everyone's expectations. Cubs are firmly in their window and I'm not handing pivotal CF/leadoff role to aging, declining, serial surgery patient Span. I'm stunned folks here would even consider signing a guy 2 months into a 6 month recovery from "major" hip surgery. Let the Mets role the dice on Span.

  • Can anyone explain why the Cardinals Alex Reyes would NOT have to serve his suspension if he is on their 40 man roster. John, this makes no sense.

  • In reply to Cphil:

    My understanding is that if you are on the 40 man roster, you don't (or maybe can't because of the CBA) get tested for marijuana. Therefore, if he gets added to the 40-man roster, he is under a different CBA. However, I am not entirely sure on this, and would love a better explanation from someone who understands more fully.

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    In reply to nukee:

    Lol, it was a failed marijuana test. A real performance enhancer right there. You would think these players along w their team doctors, agents, ect would be smart enough to know how to pass these tests by now.

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    In reply to nukee:

    I don't know the details of it but I am guessing it has something to do with falling into a different CBA as you indicated.

    Part of me wonders if I were making the decision if it might suit me just fine to let him serve his 50 game suspension rather than adding him to the 40-man roster. Those roster spots are valuable. Also, if I understand it correctly, if he is added to the 40 man roster now next year he would be "optioned" to the minor leagues. His first option year at age 22. Last year he pitced 34 innings in AA and while he did well and is likely developing just fine I doubt he is very close to mlb ready. And if that is the case it helps the Cubs to have him burning up "option" years.

    The second reason I would let him serve the suspension is that it guarantees an "innings limit."

    My final reason is that there would be a taint to adding him to the 40-man roster. A taint of "getting him out of trouble."

    That's what I would do.

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    In reply to Cphil:

    Under the terms of the CBA with the MLBPA, Marijuana does not result in a suspension, only a fine. Players on the 40-man are in the MLBPA; minor leaguers are not.

    Minor Leaguers do not have negotiated contracts, and are subject to whatever discipline MLB sees fit

  • In reply to Zonk:

    That would be important the next time he takes Marijuana. But I can't imagine that being moved to the 40 man roster would nullify a suspension already in place.

    To answer Jonathan Friedman's question, the suspension is for violating the CBA rules, not for breaking the law. Even if it were, it is still against federal law, even in states that have legalized it.

  • In reply to Cphil:

    "Getting baked the right way".

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    What happens if a player is in a state that allows marijuana smoking--does that mean that even if it is legal it still is against the CBA agreement for marijuana and if tested positive he would be subject to the suspension?

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    My wife works in HR for a big company. They had to discuss this subject when the Washington and Colorado referendums passed. From my understanding, a business has the right to not want their employees to have marijuana in their system. Just because it's legal, doesn't mean it guarantees employment. I guess it would be similar to not wanting an employee drunk when they are at work, even though you can test positive for marijuana without being high.
    When considering MLB's CBA? I'm guessing it would be similar to a regular business unless it's been explicitly negotiated otherwise.

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    wainright, wacha, martinez, gonzalez, jaime garcia. am i missing something here? they still have a better rotation than the cubs even without him lol. i get its the offseason so you have to write about something but come on, they still have tim cooney and tyler lyons as depth. most likely they will look for a swing man or a doug fister type. but i dont see them needing to spend there....

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    Maybe it is my occasional cynicism, but I have this image in my head of the Cardinals signing Glendon Rusch (all 41+ years of him) and demanding that, under a previously unexcercised "competitive balance" rule, the Cubs must pay his entire $18M salary. At which point he would post a season with a 18-4 record, a 2.31 ERA with a concurrently low FIP of 2.45.

    But that might just be the short night's sleep talking.

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    I hope so Joel. It seems like the Cards have a 3D printer somewhere in Busch Stadium and when someone goes down they just flip the
    switch and whatever they need comes out. That's of course what we want to do.
    Our pitchers will come but it seems that they're a least a year out before that wave starts coming up.
    On another note, I want to recognize all our Veterans (and you too veteran) and thank you for serving. I know our library has a service today at 11am and it's touching to see all the vets from all the different wars (and between) and talk to them and I find it interesting to talk to vets from different eras.
    I run an art class in our local art center, and one day when our model didn't show up we had a WWII vet, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and a Vietnam vet, and he was in country far ahead of the others, and we just sat down and talked about practical things--what did you have for breakfast, daily routines, etc. It was fascinating, and I think they learned some new things too. Anyway, I don't want to speak too much, but just a shout out to all you vets, thank you very much.

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    Lynn did not look right against us in September or the playoffs, and in fact finished the year very poorly. He lasted less than an inning in a start Aug 13 vs. Pittsburgh, and was very spotty from then on out.

    Makes you wonder if he was hurt in August

  • Think the Cubs try to get that Japanese pitcher real hard. he makes a lot of sense for the Cubs. technically will be cheaper overall and is very young

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    he'll have a $20 million posting fee.
    Not sure about salary.
    Tanaka certainly isnt cheap salary wise

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    people have said he will probably be under what zimmerman gets and is pretty young..

  • Here's my early off-season predictions:

    Sign Mike Leake
    Sign Denard Span
    Trade Starlin Castro (and others - Alcantara, Vogelbach?) to San Diego for Tyson Ross

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    To me, this would make it more likely for Cards to resign Heyward, and then trade from their depth (Grichuk, Piscotty. Pham, Jay John) with Cleveland for Carrasco or Salazar.

  • I see the Cards signing Mark Buerhle. He is from that area. He made it known in the past he wants to be there. He grew up a Cards fan. He could do a 1 yr + option to end his career. You add him to the back end of that staff, that team is not missing much.
    They could let Lackey walk.


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    i could see that, however they have marco gonzales who is a younger version of beurhle. but i can see it in the sense that beurhle garuntees innings and the young guys dont. they still have tyler lyons and tim cooney who are both ready to be big league starters. this was their area of strength so lynn isn't as big a loss as us losing a starter.

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