As expected, the St. Louis Cardinals have avoided salary arbitration with Lance Lynn–today announcing a new, three year deal for the pitcher which will keep him under contract through the 2017 season.

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“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Lance,” stated Cardinals Senior V.P./GeneralManager John Mozeliak. “His performance has led to much success for both he and the Cardinals organization, and we look forward to his continued growth as both a pitcher and team leader.”

According to Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch, the deal is worth $22 million with incentives reaching $23.5 million.

This move benefits the team with cost certainty for the next thee seasons with Lynn, rather than having arbitration loom with the possibility of a record award being granted. Likewise, Lynn benefits from the financial security of the new deal–plus the potential for an even larger payday when free agency comes up in three years.

Lynn put up a record of 15-10 in 2014 and posted a career-low 2.74 ERA while pitching over 200 innings for the second consecutive season.

A first-round draft pick in 2008, Lynn’s 48 wins since 2012 are the 3rd-highest amongst National League pitchers, trailing only teammate Adam Wainwright (53) and the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw (51). Lynn also ranks among N.L. leaders in games started (95-T7th) and innings pitched (581.1-11th) since 2012 and his 59 quality starts since 2012 rank 10th.

Lynn is one of just three pitchers (Max Scherzer, Zack Greinke) in the majors to have won 15 or more games in each of the last three seasons, including a career-high 18 during his 2012 All-Star campaign. He and Wainwright joined Hall-of-Famer Bob Gibson (1970-72) this past season as the last Cardinals to have struck out 175 or more batters in three consecutive seasons.

The Cardinals later announced via Twitter they have also avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year contract with catcher Tony Cruz.

Peter Bourjos and Jon Jay remain as the only arbitration-eligible players on the team.

photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

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