Good Morning Cardinal Nation. Here’s what I have for you this morning:

FREESE SIGNS DEAL: As we reported on Friday, David Freese and the Cardinals have agreed on a one-year contract worth $3.15 million, just over the midpoint of each side’s filed salary. I’m very glad they got this done and were not forced to go to arbitration, which could have been very awkward for Freese’s relationship with the club going forward. Considering Freese’s status with the fans and the organization, I think this was a very fair and reasonable raise for him. Freese made just over $500,000 in 2012.

LYNN FEELS GOOD: Derrick Goold writes this morning about Lance Lynn and how much weight he lost this offseason. From the article:

Toward the end of the season, Lynn polled the other starters – like Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and Jake Westbrook – about their offseason programs. The rookie starter came to spring last year expecting to be in the bullpen. An injury to Carpenter opened a spot in the rotation, and Lynn learned through the course of throwing 176 innings and making 29 starts that he wasn’t in shape for the grind. His colleagues gave him suggestions.

The Cardinals gave him a plan.

Oh, and a chef.

Lynn worked with the team’s strength and conditioning coach Pete Prinzi to create a training program that addressed “areas that broke down” and helped him get slimmer. Simon Lusky, the Cardinals’ team chef, visited Lynn in Oregon and stayed at the Lynns’ house for a week. Lusky made suggestions for breakfast, lunch and dinner and “put a menu in place to actually get the best out of my body,” Lynn said. Breads and pastas were shelved. Some sauces – gone.

You hear these stories every year about players who say they’re in the best shape of their lives and what not, but in any case I’m glad Lynn is feeling good. People are already questioning whether he can repeat what he did in 2012, particularly because he struggled toward the end. I think what happened to him was always going to happen. Last year he had a substantial increase in his innings pitched, and it was only natural that he was going to deteriorate toward the last couple months. Hopefully he has learned from that experience and can contribute  a full season to this year’s rotation.