Expectations long have been that Lynn would receive a QO from the Cards — and that he’d ultimately reject it. We’ll have to wait a while to learn his decision, but given his apparent expectations in free agency it seems all but a foregone conclusion that he’ll choose to hit the open market.
Lynn’s decision is eased by the new rules governing the qualifying offer. Teams weighing a signing won’t need to worry about punting a first-round pick, as would have been the case in prior years. The hope and expectation is that the rule change will tamp down on the market difficulties faced by some non-star veterans in the past.
As we discussed in our ranking of the top fifty free agents, Lynn figures to land one of the ten largest contracts of the winter. But our prediction (four years and $56MM) probably seems light if you focus on the positives — namely, a shiny 3.38 career ERA over 977 2/3 innings. That reflects some concerns about the sustainability of that output as Lynn enters his thirties.