Aaron Gleeman

Lance Lynn Getty

Cardinals sign Lance Lynn to three-year, $22 million deal

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Lance Lynn, who was arbitration eligible this offseason for the first time, has agreed to a three-year contract with the Cardinals that covers the entirety of his arbitration eligibility. Jon Heyman says it’s worth $22 million.

Lynn joined St. Louis’ rotation full-time as a 25-year-old in 2012 and has gone 48-26 with a 3.48 ERA in 97 starts while proving to be very durable. This past season he logged a career-high 204 innings with a career-best 2.74 ERA, striking out 181 batters and allowing just 13 home runs.

Now the 2008 first-round draft pick is signed through age 30, although the contract does not change the length of the Cardinals’ pre-free agency team control. If he continues to perform at his 2012-2014 levels Lynn will be a tremendous bargain to the Cardinals in 2016 and 2017, but in the meantime he gets enough money to be set for life and guard against injury.

Cubs, Felix Doubront avoid arbitration for $1.925 million

Los Angeles Dodgers v Boston Red Sox
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Left-hander Felix Doubront and the Cubs have avoided arbitration, with Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reporting that they agreed to a one-year, $1.925 million deal.

Acquired from the Red Sox at the trade deadline, Doubront made just four starts for the Cubs and also spent some time in the minors.

He has a 4.78 ERA in 438 career innings as a big leaguer, often struggling to consistently throw strikes. Chicago’s rotation may be full, meaning Doubront could slot into a bullpen role at age 27, but he’s actually fared much worse as a reliever during his career.

Billy Beane and Mike Rizzo love trading with each other

Billy Beane
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Yesterday the A’s swapped shortstop Yunel Escobar to the Nationals for reliever Tyler Clippard, and in doing so completed the ninth trade between general managers Billy Beane and Mike Rizzo since December of 2010.

Or, put another way: Oakland and Washington have made an average of one trade every five months for the past four years.

Some of them have been minor deals and they actually swapped catcher Kurt Suzuki back and forth twice, but in addition to this significant Escobar-Clippard trade they also had big ones involving Josh Willingham, Gio Gonzalez, and Derek Norris, plus a three-team trade with the Mariners that had Michael Morse and John Jaso in it.

Baseball-Reference.com has the full trading history between the two teams, because Baseball-Reference.com has everything always.

Beane is perceived as pretty new-school, Rizzo is perceived as pretty old-school, and they love making trades together.

Yankees sign Ivan Nova, avoid arbitration

Ivan Nova Getty
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Right-hander Ivan Nova and the Yankees have agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.

Nova will reportedly get the same $3.3 million salary he received in 2014, which is fairly standard for a player who missed the entire season due to injury.

In his case it was Tommy John elbow surgery in mid-April, which means Nova may not be ready for the beginning of the season. Nova, who turned 28 years old this week, has a 4.20 ERA in 538 innings for the Yankees since debuting in 2010.

Johan Santana throws two innings in Venezuela

National League New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana during first inning action in Washington
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Johan Santana officially began his latest comeback attempt last night in Venezuela, retiring all six batters he faced in a winter ball appearance for his first action since a torn Achilles’ tendon in June.

According to the Associated Press he threw 17 pitches in two innings and failed to record a strikeout.

Santana seemed close to being called up by the Orioles when the injury ended his season and he’s still a long way from being declared healthy, but as far as baby steps go it was a good one for the former two-time Cy Young winner.

Santana hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012, as shoulder injuries repeatedly derailed what once looked like a potential Hall of Fame career. At age 36 he’ll almost surely have to settle for a minor-league contract and compete for a job during spring training, and the Yankees are among the teams said to be interested.