You’ll often hear players and executives say that, at the end of a day, baseball is a business. The reason both sides have to issue that reminder is that people are on both sides of the equation, and sometimes relationships drive the economics.
Case in point: Lance Lynn, who was set to become a free agent at the end of the season, and set himself up for a major payday by making the All-Star team thanks to the league’s best ERA. Nobody would’ve blamed him if he wanted to test the open market, and it would’ve been hard to blame the White Sox if they couldn’t persuade him otherwise, regardless of how badly their rotation they needed his beefy ballast.
But it also became clear as Lynn heaved, grunted and bellowed to immense success and customer satisfaction from start to start, that nobody could question the fit. And if Lynn truly wanted to test the market, he wouldn’t have gone as far as he had in flattering the fan base.
“I think that some of my things that I do on the mound really sit well with the South Siders,” Lynn said Monday in Minnesota. “You can tell when I come out and warm up for games and stuff like that. They are yelling at me and like some of the things that are not the nicest things that I like to say but they just kind of come out when I compete.
“It’s definitely fun to play in front of those fans, and they enjoy the attitude that I bring, too.” […]
“Living in the suburbs of (the) Indianapolis area, the South Side has a tendency to be a little bit more of a home feeling for me than any other place I’ve played. I’m really enjoying it.”
Sure enough, Lynn and the White Sox agreed to a two-year, $38 million contract extension, with an $18 million team option for 2024. The contract locks in Lynn for the next two years at $18.5 million apiece, and should the White Sox not want to continue the relationship, they’ll pay him a $1 million buyout.If Lynn ages gracefully into 2024, the contract will be three years and $55 million. If those numbers sound familiar, it’s because those are the terms I threw out in a post speculating about a Lynn extension more than a month ago
But there’s no reason to dwell on that yet, so let’s project a positive outcome where Lynn makes it three strong years in a row. A contract figure that comes to mind is three years, $55 million.
THAT is how much sense it made.
(Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports)