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Kyle Lohse still struggling to attract legitimate interest

Feb 23, 2013, 8:55 PM EST

kyle lohse getty Getty Images

All remains quiet on the Kyle Lohse front.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports published an article this evening suggesting eight different major league teams — Brewers, Indians, Rangers, Red Sox, Angels, Orioles, Yankees and Cardinals — that could be in play for the free agent right-hander.

But Heyman notes in that same article that there’s no indication that any sort of agreement is close.

The Brewers have engaged in discussions with Lohse’s agent, Scott Boras, and club owner Mark Attanasio has even been invovled. But it sounds like most members of the Milwaukee front office would prefer to hang on to this year’s 17th overall pick.

Lohse, 34, posted a 2.86 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 211 innings last season for St. Louis. He declined a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Cards in November, which triggered the draft pick compensation.

Heyman, who usually gets good info on Boras clients, says a “three-year offer should get it done at this point.” Lohse was probably hoping for a four- or five-year contract when the offseason began.

  1. brewcrewfan54 - Feb 23, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    I’m torn on this guy. The Brewers are in a win now kind of mode so in that sense signing him and giving up the 17th pick makes sense. At the same time the system needs talent, but there’s no guarantee who they pick will amount to anything. Even if he does Weeks, Hart, Ramirez, Aoki and others will all likely be gone and Braun will be in his eary 30’s so the team could be a scrapheap by then. Screw it, stick with the young guys and if any of them falter and Lohse is still around then make a run at him.

    • chomsky66 - Feb 23, 2013 at 10:41 PM

      Actually, the Brewers were in a win not kind of mode. Easy mistake.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Feb 23, 2013 at 10:54 PM

        It was no mistake.

    • chomsky66 - Feb 23, 2013 at 10:41 PM

      Actually, the Brewers are in a win not kind of mode. Easy mistake.

    • polonelmeagrejr - Feb 24, 2013 at 7:37 AM

      Never crazy about soft-toss righties. Reminds me of Kevin MIllwood. I guess the true test of my feelings about Lohse are that I am a Mets fan and wouldn’t want this guy on the MEts.

  2. gbpackfan1990 - Feb 23, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    I do feel for this guy. If the forfeiting of the 1st round pick wasn’t attached to him, I’m sure several teams would already have signed him. He’s being penalized because of it. As a Brewers fan, I totally agree with the previous poster. I’d love to have him at the right price but certainly understand about not wanting to relinquish our 1st round pick.

  3. vallewho - Feb 23, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Someone valuable will get pretty soon and his market will pick up.

    • vallewho - Feb 23, 2013 at 10:13 PM

      Someone valuable will get hurt pretty (always happens) soon and his market will pick up.

  4. onbucky96 - Feb 23, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    We don’t need no stinkin Boras guy! Actually, if he’d fire Boras I’d be ok with him in Milwaukee for 2yrs. Our last 2 trips down former Cardinal Pitcher Lane didn’t end well(Looper and Supan).

    • brewcrewfan54 - Feb 23, 2013 at 11:32 PM

      Who cares if he’s a Boras guy? Nobody has to pay what Boras asks. He’s doing his job, getting his guys the most money possible. And ultimately its the players decision of what deal to take, not his agent’s. Let’s not pretend the players are innocent pawns in all of this.

      • baseballisboring - Feb 24, 2013 at 6:23 AM

        LOL @ Jon Heyman aka Boras’ mouthpiece. A 3 year deal would “probably” get it done? Yeah…I think that’s safe to say.

        I doubt he gets 3 years at this point. He’s been good the last two years, but he’s also been outperforming his peripherals…he’s a 34 year old pitcher with a career 4.45 ERA, if him and Boras were looking for 5 years to begin with they were really overreaching. If they were a little more realistic about his market value he might have found a home by now.

  5. buffalo65 - Feb 23, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    He can goto the brewers, hang with Braun and his performance is sure to improve.

  6. mrobinson14 - Feb 23, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    CLEVELAND!!!! GO IN FOR THE KILL!!!!

    • tuberippin - Feb 26, 2013 at 12:24 AM

      FINISH HIM

  7. dondada10 - Feb 23, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Lohse may have to wait for the compensation deadline to pass before he gets legit bids.

  8. randygnyc - Feb 24, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    I bet the players are PISSED at the players association lawyers for not foreseeing this problem. Sure boras dodged a bullet on the other guys who signed this year with teams that forfeited picks, but I’d bet this clause doesn’t get renewed in the next cba.

    • polonelmeagrejr - Feb 24, 2013 at 1:39 PM

      Randy, I have to agree with you, for once.

  9. unclemosesgreen - Feb 24, 2013 at 6:08 AM

    The next CBA isn’t due until 2016. There is always the possibility of a mid-term correction regarding this issue, but the owners are not required to come to the table until 2016 if they don’t want to revisit it.

    Weiner is making a lot of noise about it now, but it’s questionable whether a change will get any traction given that only 9 players were given qualifying offers under the new rules. 5 players accepted, Adam LaRoche stayed with his team, Rafael Soriano joined him with the Nats by opting out of his deal with the Yankees. Michael Bourn eventually was signed by the Indians, who had the leverage of having a top-ten protected 1st round pick.

    Last year, with Type A and Type B free agents, there were 35 players subject to compensation. The year before it was 37. Worth mentioning that 1/4 as many players were weighed down in value.

    It is also worth mentioning that baseball doesn’t truly have a “compensation” system here as much as it’s a “punishment” system. The pick that is taken from the team that signs “another team’s free agent” (and I qualify this term because of its’ absurdity, once a player rejects a qualifying offer, why exactly do they still have a tie to their old team??) just disappears, and the team that made a qualifying offer gets a sandwich pick. So in all seriousness, why is there a punishment pick dissolved from a team that signs a free agent? That is anti-free market and makes no sense to me, however hard I try to puzzle it out. Why penalize a team for signing a free agent if no one is receiving that pick?

    Why does the MLBPA keep getting beaten by the owners with socks full of quarters? Terrible job by Weiner negotiating this deal, absolutely terrible. If performing his job so badly has zero repercussions, what is Weiner’s incentive not to suck out loud? What was Billy Hunter’s incentive not to put his whole dang family on the payroll? These union negotiators are the worst.

    • jyoung1891 - Feb 24, 2013 at 7:37 AM

      Shouldn’t the qualifying offer problem take care of itself in another year or so? With some of the big contracts (both free agents and extensions) signed this winter, the amount of the qualifying offer will go higher, and there will probably be fewer free agents receving qualifying offers.

      I would guess that potential free agents will be more likely to sign extensions with their current teams than riisk testing the open market, and winding up in Lohse’s predicament. It won’t have an impact on true stars like Verlander, just the “marginal stars” (if that isn’t an oxymoron) like Lohse, Bourn, and LaRoche.

      This year, the impact has been significant. Compare Edwin Jackson’s new contract to Adam LaRouche’s. The difference is that the Nationals didn’t make an offer to Jackson.

      • unclemosesgreen - Feb 24, 2013 at 9:32 AM

        The new rule for the qualifying offer is that it has to be the average of the top 125 salaries. A few high end salaries won’t move that number too much.

  10. greymares - Feb 24, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    I find it amazing that teams are hesitant to sign an established front line major league starter because they don’t want to give up ( maybe he will be a player) draft choice. I think it has more to do with his representation.

    • js20011041 - Feb 24, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      Several layers of fail in this one. First of all, Lohse is not a front line starter. He’s not even a number 2. He had a very good year last year, but if you look at his overall body of work, he’s a 3. Second of all, this doesn’t have as much to do with losing the draft pick itself, but with the money that goes with it. If you give up your first round pick, your pool of money for signing players is almost nothing. That’s an incredible disincentive to signing players. And finally, I will never understand the antipathy directed towards Boras. Why do people hate him? Because he’s good at his job? Would you rather the players get less money and the owners get more? It’s an irrational hatred.

  11. navyteach - Feb 24, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    As a fan, I like the fact that a team will receive compensation for a star player who signs elsewhere. Keep in mind that Lohse could have signed the $13.3 million tender but chose not to sign it in hopes that he would get a multi-year deal elsewhere. All it takes is an injury to a starter or a team to realize they need some help in the rotation and he’ll get signed. He’s surely questioning why he didn’t stick with the Cardinals. My money is on the Yankees or Cleveland.

    • jwbiii - Feb 24, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      I don’t think the Yankees will be involved. If Pineda is healthy, they have seven starters, which is nice for depth and Nova, Phelps, and Pineda have options remaining.

    • unclemosesgreen - Feb 24, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      As far as compensation – I respect your opinion. But the compensation pick is a sandwich pick. Why is a pick still taken away from the signing team? It doesn’t have to be thus.

  12. thomas844 - Feb 24, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Cleveland has already been a big time spender this offseason, they may as well go all the way with it and sign Lohse. Starting pitching is arguably their biggest weakness anyway so it would make sense.

    • unclemosesgreen - Feb 24, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      They are the most reasonable destination. It would only cost them a third round pick. Their 1st pick is protected since it’s a top ten pick. They gave up a 1-2 sandwich pick to sign Nick Swisher, and a 2nd round pick to sign Michael Bourn. So pick-wise, it would cost them far less than any other team to sign Lohse at this point.

  13. tonyc920 - Feb 24, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    First of all, I don’t feel too sorry for the guy after turning down a $13 million offer. His thinking was sign with Boras and I’ll get $80 million for 4 years. So how did that work out for Lohse, not so good. I think there’s some animosity by GM’s and Owners against Scott Boras. He’s a hardline guy, his way or the highway. I wonder if Lohse wakes up and fires his agent. He was drinking Boras KoolAid and now it doesn’t taste so good. If I were Doug Melvin I’d make him a 3 year offer for $30 million and no more. Maybe we get lucky and he performs well. If the Brew Crew sucks, you trade him and get some prospects. If HE SUCKS, well I guess you just tally it as another St Louis washed up pitcher the Brewers overpaid.

    • unclemosesgreen - Feb 24, 2013 at 4:34 PM

      The jury is still out. We have to wait and see what kind of deal Lohse ends up getting. The steak doesn’t care when it’s dinnertime.

  14. buffalomafia - Feb 24, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Wait guys! Is he really worth it?

  15. sfm073 - Feb 24, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    As a cardinal fan please brewers sign lohse.

  16. derekj33 - Feb 24, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    The was the free agent system is set up is still flawed. As anyone who turned down a qualifying offer struggled to find a suitor this off season. Unfortunately for Lohse, he won’t come close to the 13.3 mil he turned down. I can definitely see the Dodgers or Nationals signing him, if for nothing else as insurance in their bullpen. It is hard to see Lohse match what he did last season, however he is consistent and an inning eater. I would like to see the Indians sign him. The Indians already gave up their second and compensation round picks in the signing of Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn. Their first round pick is protected. The Indians made a splash this offseason and greatly improved their roster with the additions of Swisher, Bourn, Bauer, Reynolds, Aviles. However they barely touched their rotation and bullpen. They were among the last in each category last year an only added Brett Meyers and Trevor Bauer, while incurring Scott Kazmir and Dice K. The addition of Lohse would stabilize their rotation and bring another veteran into the clubhouse. Jimenez and Masterson have a lot to prove and many “ifs” surrounding them this season. I see Jimenez on a short lease and having Lohse would be a major improvement to their #3 or #4 in the rotation (moving Meyers to the back end). They could probably sign him for $8 mil with incentives or possible 3 year, $30 mil guaranteed.

    • derekj33 - Feb 24, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      Yep, typing on a iPhone is a poor decision. My apologies.

      The way the free agent system is…

  17. stew48 - Feb 25, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Let me start by confessing that I know nothing about the free agent system, and plan to keep it that way. What has startled me in the comments regards the evaluations (?) of Lohse. If the Cardinals offered him 13 mil, then they must have had some confidence his 2013 performance would be just as good. And, many players, especially pitchers, do not fully mature at age 21 or 22. So, a couple of good years recently probably account for the 13 mil. What really amazes me is comparing Lohse to that of an unknown (untried?) pick, on any level. You all know pitching is the toughest element in a winning situation. I am a Cub fan, and if they aren’t talking to Boras, I wish they would. We need pitchers who have shown ability to win. Finally, a comment regarding the loss of money available for picks if the teams losses it’s first pick: they won’t need that money!

  18. judahbenhur - Feb 25, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    I’m not giving a 34 year-old pitcher a three year deal– let alone surrendering a high draft pick. I won’t be surprised to see Lohse sign a month into the season when teams won’t have to surrender a pick any longer, but a deal for two years with a club option for a third.

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