St. Louis Cardinals hire one of their figures again

Starter Lance Lynn will return to where it all began in his career. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the veteran right-hander is signing a one-year, $10 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The right-hander and St. Louis have agreed on a one-year contract with a club option that guarantees about $10 million, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN. Lynn, 36, was selected by the Cardinals and returns, pending a physical, as they rebuild the rotation.

Lynn, who spent the first six seasons of his career with the Cardinals, has bounced around five teams since leaving St. Louis and returns after a season in which he posted an elite strikeout rate but struggled with home runs.

With the Chicago White Sox, Lynn struck out 144 in 119 innings, but allowed 28 home runs and posted a 6.47 ERA. However, the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for him at the trade deadline, and he was better there, posting a 4.36 ERA, although he still allowed 16 home runs in 64 innings.

The Cardinals entered the winter looking for three starting pitchers to fill out a beleaguered rotation whose 5.08 ERA was the fifth-worst in baseball. Miles Mikolas and Steven Matz return, along with young lefties Matthew Liberatore, Zack Thompson and Drew Rom, who all started games with varying degrees of effectiveness last season.

By signing Lynn, St. Louis gains a veteran presence in the rotation thanks to a relatively low-risk financial deal. But if the Cardinals really want to be competitive next year, they’ll need to perform better than Lynn had last season.