#STLCards pitcher Lance Lynn underwent “Tommy John” surgery earlier today. Lynn, 28, will miss the 2016 season.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) November 10, 2015
Lynn has become a top starter in St. Louis, going 12-11 with a 3.03 ERA and 3.44 FIP in 31 starts last year. He’s accumulated 13.7 Wins Above Replacement in his 4+ seasons as a Cardinal, per FanGraphs. The unexpected surgery news comes on the heels of a season in which the Cardinals won 100 games despite major injuries to their starting rotation. Staff ace Adam Wainwright was lost for most of the year due to a torn Achilles tendon suffered in May, and 2015 All-Star Carlos Martinez was shut down in September due to shoulder inflammation.
Still, the Cardinals featured one of the best pitching staffs in baseball thanks in part to solid starters such as Lynn, John Lackey, and Jaime Garcia. Although St. Louis was thought to be one of the few top contenders who would not dip their toes into this winter’s deep free agent pitching market, many insiders now expect that to change after Lynn’s surgery. Since Wainwright and Martinez are both expected to be fully healthy for the 2016 season, it seems reasonable to think the Cardinals will go after starters such as Lackey, Scott Kazmir, or Mike Leake on a relatively short-term deal. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, however, has a different idea:
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 10, 2015