The Cardinals made their first moves to rebuild their pitching staff for 2024 on Tuesday by signing free agent starters Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson. Each signed a one-year contract with an option for 2025.
Lynn, 36, was originally selected by the Cardinals in the 1st round (39th overall) of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft out of the University of Mississippi. He pitched for the Cardinals from 2011-17 posting a 72-47 record with a 3.38 ERA over 977.2 innings with 919 strikeouts.
“We are excited to have Lance back with the Cardinals, he was a big part of our success when he was here,” stated Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak. “Lance brings a veteran mindset, built on durability, experience, and his ability to work a high volume of innings. His addition is an important piece as we continue assembling our rotation and roster for next season.”
Over his 12-year Major League career, Lynn is 136-95 with a 3.74 ERA cumulating 1,889.0 innings with 1906 strikeouts and has started 317 games. He currently ranks in the top-10 among active Major League pitchers in wins (136, 7th), games started (317, 8th), innings pitched (1,889, 8th), strikeouts (1906, 9th) and opponent batting average (.243, 10th). His ERA (3.74) ranks 12th among actives.
A member of two Cardinals World Series qualifying teams, Lynn appeared in relief in 10 postseason games for the 2011 World Championship squad as a rookie, and made three postseason starts for the 2013 National League Champions. He currently ranks second all-time in Cardinals postseason appearances with 24, trailing only Adam Wainwright’s 29.
Lynn’s 919 career strikeouts as a member of the Cardinals ranks 11th in club history and he is one of six Cardinals pitchers with five seasons of 150 or more strikeouts along with Bob Gibson (11), Adam Wainwright (8), Chris Carpenter (5), Steve Carlton (5) and Dizzy Dean (5). Since becoming a starting pitcher in 2012, Lynn posted three seasons with 200 or more innings pitched, coming in 2013, 2014 and 2019; two of those with the Cardinals.
In 2023, Lynn ranked among the top-25 in Major League Baseball in innings pitched (183.2), strikeouts (191) and wins (13), while splitting the season with the White Sox and Dodgers. He was 7-2 in his 11 starts for the Dodgers to finish the season, recording seven quality starts while limiting his opponents to three earned runs or fewer in 9-of-11 starts.
Since signing as a free-agent with the Minnesota Twins in 2018, Lynn has also pitched for the Yankees, Rangers, White Sox and Dodgers from 2018-23. He was a member of two All-Star teams (2012 with the Cardinals and 2021 with the White Sox) and was an American League Cy Young Award finalist in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Gibson, also 36, is an 11-year MLB veteran who owns a career record of 104-100 with a 4.54 ERA and 1,359 strikeouts over 1,696 innings. He has appeared in 300 career games, starting 294 games, combined between Minnesota, Texas, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
Last year in his lone season with Baltimore, Gibson went 15-9 with a 4.73 ERA and 157 strikeouts in a team-leading 33 starts for the AL East Division champions. He ranked in the top-10 among American League pitchers in wins (T3rd), games started (T1st), innings pitched (192.0, 6th), quality starts (17, T10th) and winning percentage (.625 10th). His 15 wins and 33 starts were both career-bests.
Named an American League All-Star in 2021, Gibson is an eight-time 10-game winner and has made at least 29 starts in nine of the last 10 seasons (excluding the shortened 2020 season). He is one of four MLB pitchers to record 100+ strikeouts in nine of the last 10 seasons, along with Jacob deGrom, Clayton Kershaw, and Max Scherzer.
Originally selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 1st round (22nd overall) of the 2009 MLB Draft out of the University of Missouri, the 6’6” native of Greenfield, Indiana spent his first seven seasons in the Twin Cities compiling a 67-68 record. After signing with the Texas Rangers prior to the 2020 season, Gibson was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies at the trade deadline in 2021. He has appeared in four career postseason games, with three of those appearances coming over the last two seasons with Philadelphia (2022 NLCS and World Series) and Baltimore (2023 ALDS).
Gibson is a three-time Roberto Clemente Award nominee and was the recipient of the 2017 Carl R. Pohlad Community Service Award, selected by the Minnesota Twins Community Fund Board of Directors. He also serves as the Vice President of former Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright’s Big League Impact charitable foundation.