Five starting pitchers the Phillies could pursue in free agency

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PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 13: Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta #49 of the Chicago Cubs looks over to first base as he pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on August 13, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 13: Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta #49 of the Chicago Cubs looks over to first base as he pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on August 13, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Lance Lynn

Lance Lynn has returned this year from Tommy John surgery fairly well, but how well you gauge this season depends on how you look at it.

On the more positive side, Lynn has a 3.14 ERA and 1.17 WHIP while opposing hitters are batting just .214 against him. His 3.1 bWAR is the best among Cardinals pitchers and would make him the second-best player on the Phillies this season behind only Aaron Nola.

On the other hand, Lynn’s fielding-independent pitching is 4.77, the highest of his career by far. His strikeout rate is the lowest of his career while his walk rate is the highest it’s been. Lynn is also surrendering a lot more home runs, with batters hitting home runs on 14.8 percent of fly balls against Lynn. His 1.2 fWAR would make him the fourth-best pitcher on Philadelphia’s pitching staff, slotting just behind the now-traded reliever Pat Neshek.

Lynn doesn’t have the most leverage in free agency because of how he has performed after returning from Tommy John surgery. He has a strong track record to go off of, but teams will have to buy into the notion that Lynn can bounce back. The hesitance with Lynn is just enough to give Philadelphia a fighting chance to sign Lynn in free agency.

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