FORT MYERS, Fla. — On his first day with the Twins, veteran right-hander Lance Lynn was asked about the risk he was taking in turning down multiyear security to pitch on a one-year, $12 million deal in 2018.
“I don’t think I’m taking a risk at all,” Lynn said. “I get a chance to play in the big leagues against the best players in the world. Whether it’s one year or multiple years, you still have to do your job. If I do what I’ve done my whole career, I’ll be fine and if I don’t then I didn’t deserve anything that goes beyond this year anyways.”
With incentives, Lynn would push his one-year guarantee to $14 million if he reaches 180 innings for a Twins team he sees as a legitimate postseason contender, a prospect the Ole Miss product from outside Indianapolis became quite familiar with during his time with the St. Louis Cardinals.
He also could head back out onto the free agent market next winter, this time without draft pick compensation being attached. Or he might opt to put down roots at Target Field, where he has yet to pitch despite taking the mound in 27 different big-league parks in his career.
“I grew up in Indiana,” he said. “I like the cold.”
Lynn credited his familiarity with setup man Zach Duke, his Cardinals teammate the past two years, and newly signed slugger Logan Morrison, with whom he shared offseason workouts at Cressey Sports Performance in Jupiter, Fla.
Would Lynn, a former all-star and two-time World Series participant with three seasons of 15 or more wins, pitch this season with a chip on his shoulder after falling well short of his expected free-agent haul?
“The chip on the shoulder has been there since I was born,” he said. “That’s not changed. This market hasn’t changed that. That’s something I use to compete. It helps drive me.”