The Cardinals on Wednesday completed a surprise trade with the Mariners that, most notably, sends veteran right-hander Mike Leake to Seattle in year two of the five-year, $80 million contract he signed with St. Louis. While the Cardinals have on balance been a pretty middling team in 2017, they're still alive in the NL Central and in the race for one of the two NL wild card spots. As such, trading away a near-term asset like Leake probably isn't hugely popular with the veterans on the team.
One of those veterans is right-hander Lance Lynn. You can read all about his comments on the Leake trade in Rick Hummel's story at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. But wait: That's not all!
The Cardinals will save a good bit of cash in shipping off Leake (they're reportedly kicking in $17 million of the roughly $55 million that Leake is still owed), and that's led to some speculation regarding that newfound payroll flexibility ...
So what does Lynn think about all that? Again via Mr. Hummel, here are Lynn's pointed comments about a possible extension with the Cards ...
"You can't say that. There's been no talks. There's been zero communication, whatsoever.
"I'm sure whenever the time comes — when the World Series is over and five days after, I'm sure somebody will talk to me. I just don't know who it is. They've had a whole season. Five days isn't going to matter.
"But I just work here."
Make your own judgments, but that doesn't sound like a pending free agent who's inclined to stick around much longer. Speaking of which, Lynn in his walk year -- which is also his comeback campaign from Tommy John surgery -- has pitched to a 3.14 ERA/136 ERA+ and 2.16 K/BB ratio in an NL-leading 27 starts. For his career, the 30-year-old owns an ERA+ of 116 across parts of six big-league seasons. Given Lynn's track record, his strong 2017 numbers, and the heated market for starting pitching each winter, he may be headed for a nine-figure payday.
Hometown discount? I'm not sure this sounds like a player who's high on organizational loyalty, at least at the moment.