If you watched closely during the Opening Night ceremonies, you may have noticed Lance Lynn not only shook hands but gave a hug to each of the Hall of Famers at home plate. That wasn’t by accident.
“Yeah, unfortunately the way this game works you don’t know if you’re going to have another one here,” said Lynn. “So I took it all in and enjoyed it. I’ve loved my time here and hopefully, I have a lot more of it. But if that’s my last Opening Day as a Cardinal, I took it all in.”
The 29-year old Lynn is in the final year of his contract and could become a free agent after this season. But that doesn’t mean that he’s looking to end his tenure with the St. Louis Cardinals.
“I’m open to anything,” said Lynn. “I’d hope to be a Cardinal for life. If that doesn’t happen, then I’ll see what’s out there. That’s pretty much been my stance the whole time. Don’t want to be a free agent, but if that comes up then I’ll take it and run with it and see where it goes.”
Before an extension comes together, Lynn understands the need to show he is back in form after missing all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in November of 2015.
“In all honesty, I wouldn’t be surprised if they would want to do something like that it wouldn’t happen until after the All-Star break,” said Lynn. “Show that I have 15-20 starts under my belt. Then try to get that done so we don’t have to deal with that going into the free agent period. I’ve just got to pitch. If I pitch, everything will take care of itself. I’ll show them that I’m back to being who I am and if they want me, they’ll have the opportunity to keep me.”
Prior to missing last season, Lynn had made at least 29 starts in five consecutive seasons and logged 175-plus innings each of those years. He expects a similar performance this season.
“I think my contract says I’m going to get as many innings as possible,” quipped Lynn when asked if there were any restrictions on his workload. "I’m just going out there and be myself. If I do what I’ve done in years past, everything’s going to take care of itself. Show people I’m healthy, show people I’m ready to roll, and I’ve got a lot of good baseball left in me.”
Saint Louis Baseball Weekly