Cusumano: What the Cardinals should do about Lance Lynn

Bottom line: the object is to keep your good players, not lose them.

I am writing this just before Lance Lynn is about to face the dangerous Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. I have no idea how it's going to go. I do know that what happens in Boston will not affect my feelings on Lance.

I am amazed that the Cardinals may allow this man to walk away. If his 1.73 ERA in the second half holds, it would be the seventh best second-half ERA for a Cardinal since 1969. For the season, he has the lowest WHIP and ERA on the staff. I think you could make a strong case for Lynn being the best pitcher on this staff in 2017.

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Yet, it's mid-August, and it looks like Lynn will be a free agent.

I don't understand why. Need? Well, think about who you can rely on next season to make you a really good team. Who can you really rely on for the 2018 starting staff? Carlos Martinez for sure and Micheal Wacha too.

Then who else? Alex Reyes coming off Tommy John surgery will likely be better off coming back out of the bullpen. Adam Wainwright has been great but will be 36. Mike Leake has been a solid pitcher but he has given up 15 runs in 15 1/3 innings this month. You have a bunch of talented kids but they have never done anything in the majors with the exception of a few good starts from Luke Weaver.

I realize Lance is not going deep into games. But nobody competes any better. The man gets hit in the head and doesn't miss a pitch. Do you think any bigger stage will ever scare Lance Lynn?

It will cost you a lot of money, $100 million for 5 years. That is the going rate and the Cardinals can afford him. They will draw 3.4 million again. They will have that new, billion-dollar television package with Fox Sports Midwest kicking in. Money should never ever be an object for the Cardinals.

Do you know what happens if they don't sign him besides having a questionable staff? They run the risk of Lynn ending up in Chicago. The Cubs have plenty of money too and they may actually need starting pitching more than the Cardinals. Do you want to face Lance five times a year for the next 5 years? Do you think he would be motivated for those starts?

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It doesn't have to come to that. The phone call should be made. Lynn is not Kyle Lohse. Lynn is not Jeff Suppan. He is 30 with a new elbow. While other pitchers are wearing down. He is wearing out hitters.

Bottom line: the object is to keep your good players, not lose them.