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Angels “not expected to be players on” righty Kyle Lohse

Jan 13, 2013, 10:11 AM EDT

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The Angels have been mentioned at different times this winter as a potential landing spot for free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse. But it doesn’t sound like they are even going to make an offer to him.

According to’s Alden Gonzalez, the Halos are “not expected to be players on Lohse” no matter how low his price drops because their payroll is maxed out at about $160 million and they like their current crop of starting rotation candidates. They’re also said to be “unsure” about how his numbers might hold up in a return to the American League.

And then there’s the new free agent compensation system which would require the Angels to give up more draft pool money in order to sign Lohse. They already forfeited their 2013 first-round pick and the allotted budget that comes with it by signing free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton. Lohse triggered that compensation by declining a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals when the offseason began.

Lohse, 34, posted a 2.86 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 211 innings last year for St. Louis. He and his agent, Scott Boras, are likely hoping that teams will get desperate for starting pitching help as spring training draws closer.

  1. Old Gator - Jan 13, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Lhose won’t wind up as the latterday Kirk Gibson. Patience. Gotta wonder, though, how he voted on the new CBA.

  2. echech88 - Jan 13, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Angels already forfeited their 1st rounder by signing Hamilton. This would dent their draft pool even further which their farm really can’t afford.

    • Drew Silva - Jan 13, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      Oops. Good call.

    • jarathen - Jan 14, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      Their farm can’t afford anything right now, really. They only have a handful of likely future regulars right now as it is.

  3. 13arod - Jan 13, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    he might be a free agent when the season starts but i think settle might land him they want to win really badly

  4. ldebes1 - Jan 13, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    I’m not sure if the system works the same as the old system, where they had to be on the opening day major league roster to get draft pick compensation, but if so, couldnt a team sign lohse (or bourn or soriano) to a minor league contract and call them up for the second game and avoid losing a draft pick?

  5. ldebes1 - Jan 13, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    If one of these players did sign a minor league deal (that would guarantee 10 million or so if they made the major league team and include an opt out if they arent in the majors by the 2nd week of the season) it would benefit the team by not requiring a draft pick and it would benefit the player by guaranteeing they dont get the qualifying offer after this year because the rules require a player be with the team the whole year to get that offer

    • paperlions - Jan 13, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      …..and MLB would reject such a contract and possibly penalize/sanction the team for their attempt to circumvent rules of the CBA.

  6. bkh405 - Jan 13, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    It kind of screams of a minor F-U to Boras doesn’t it. As much as I like Lohse, I like the anti-Boras thing a bit more.

    • paperlions - Jan 13, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      The Boras thing can’t help, but I think there are more variables in play than that.

      1) Lohse is 34 and said to be looking for a 4 yr deal, meaning, you probably have to go to at least 3 years.

      2) The history of pitchers that Duncan and the Cardinals have picked up off the scrap heap and got good production out of. People act like Duncan leaving 1.5 yrs ago should make this irrelevant, but Duncan was with the Cardinals for well over a decade. There is no way he didn’t teach his approach and philosophy to a bunch of coaches in the Cardinals system, including their current pitching coach.

      3) The Boras thing

      4) The loss of a pick and the associated pool money. IMO, teams (or at least, fans and media) are probably over-estimating the importance of the money. The pick is the thing. Look at picks after #20 last year and what they signed for compared to slot. There really isn’t that much money to be saved. Draftees and their agents already realized last year that teams can’t lowball them and tell them take it or leave it….because of the player doesn’t sign, the team loses the entire slot amount from their budget. So….teams may be able to go a couple 100K under slot, but that is probably about it. Otherwise teams lose the player AND the slot amount from their budget. So….draftees do have leverage. In short, the pick is the thing, not the money associated with its slot.

      5) Finally, Lohse has been so good the last couple of years, he’s not a buy-low candidate, which teams love. They figure the best they can do is break even if they pay him anything close to what his recent performance is worth.

      • jarathen - Jan 14, 2013 at 10:30 AM

        This is everything that can be said about it right here.

  7. hojo20 - Jan 13, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Lohse is a NL pitcher. He’d get bombed in the AL.

  8. halohonk - Jan 13, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Halos are set for the season. If they can stay healthy and get off to a decent start this year, they run away with this division. Poor Texas, they played all the wrong cards this off season. Wouldnt be surprised if they sign loshe just to save face with their fans after the Hamilton debacle.

    • paperlions - Jan 13, 2013 at 12:02 PM

      Set, huh? How is that rotation set? Hanson, Blanton, and Vargas? Ouch.

      Within a couple of years (possibly sooner), I’m fairly sure that Ranger fans with be perfectly happy with the outcome of the “Hamilton debacle”. Just like it only took Cardinal fans until June to be content with Pujols leaving.

      • dezaruchi - Jan 13, 2013 at 7:03 PM

        The Cards fans were content were they? That’s interesting considering they were World Series Champs with Pujols in their lineup. It’s kind of strange they’d be content since most team’s fans aren’t happy to regress.

      • paperlions - Jan 14, 2013 at 8:14 AM

        Don’t be a douchenozzle. I said the Cardinals were content with Pujols leaving by June, and we/they were because the Cardinals were better last year without Pujols than they would have been with him. Guess who was a better hitter than Albert Pujols in both 2011 and 2012? Allen Craig.

      • jarathen - Jan 14, 2013 at 10:31 AM

        In all fairness, the Angels do have two league-average guys who can step in if Hanson breaks down in Williams and Richards. They have a few below-average starters after that, but it all comes down to the health and performance of Weaver and Wilson.

  9. bobrando - Jan 13, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Paperlion. look at the “Big Picture” The Big A is a pitchers ballpark especially fly ball pitchers which oh! Vargas and Blanton are. Hansen has a bounce-back season and has a K race with Weaver.The Angels saved themselves alot of money by going with those guys. The return will be huge.

    • paperlions - Jan 13, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      First, research has shown that FB pitchers don’t fare better in larger parks compared to other pitchers. In other words, all pitchers benefit from the larger parks or more pitcher friendly environments, not just FB pitchers….and FB pitchers still give up more HRs in large parks than other pitchers.

      Second, how well did the Angels’ staff pitch last year in that very same park? They had much more talent in the rotation last year, and their starting pitching was their biggest problem last year.

      • dezaruchi - Jan 13, 2013 at 7:09 PM

        Check your facts. The bullpen was the problem in Anaheim last year. The starters were in the top half of the majors statistically but don’t let facts get in the way of your argument.

      • paperlions - Jan 14, 2013 at 8:17 AM

        Angel’s starters were 10th in the AL in pitcher WAR. Their relievers were horrible, but, of course the bullpen doesn’t pitch as many innings as the starters, making the performance of the rotation more important.

      • paperlions - Jan 14, 2013 at 8:19 AM

        Plus, the Angels rotation had much more talent on it last year than it does this year. Right now they have 2 solid pitchers, 1 guy with a busted shoulder, and 2 guys that project as #5/6 starters.

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