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Who will be this winter’s Kyle Lohse?

Dec 7, 2013, 10:05 AM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers Getty Images

Attached to draft pick compensation, right-hander Kyle Lohse waited out the entire winter before eventually landing a three-year, $33 million contract from the Brewers in March. A Scott Boras client, he was reportedly aiming for a three-year, $45 million deal at the start of the offseason, but his market was severely limited due to the draft pick situation. Could we see a repeat this winter with a different Boras client?

In a preview of next week’s Winter Meetings, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com quotes executives who believe that Kendrys Morales will have a hard time finding a deal in this market.

Kendrys Morales: In a market almost devoid of power, you would think Morales would be a popular figure. But he, too, has that lose-a-draft-pick stigma attached. And NL teams view him, for the most part, as a guy who needs to stay in the AL because of health and defense worries. So almost no one saw him signing any time soon.

“He’s in trouble,” said one AL exec. And one NL executive made it clear how much he agreed — by picking March 20 as Morales’ signing date, unless the Mariners strike out on the other bats they’re chasing and bring him back. “I think he has all the makings,” the exec said, “of this year’s Kyle Lohse.”

This isn’t really a second-guessing situation, as many thought that Morales was better off accepting the one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Mariners rather than testing free agency. He has mostly been a DH since his lower leg injury, so he’s best-suited for the American League. That cuts the number of potential fits right away. Add in the draft pick, and well, Morales could be waiting a while.

Morales, 30, hit .277/.336/.449 with 23 home runs and 80 RBI over 156 games this past season.

  1. proudlycanadian - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Speaking of Draft Pick compensation, the Mariners first round pick in the 2014 draft was protected. The Yankees will get the second round pick of the Mariners.

    The first round picks for The Astros, Marlins, White Sox, Cubs, Twins, Mariners, Phillies, Rockies, Blue Jays and Mets are all protected. I do not know all the teams on that list well enough to know if any of them are a good fit for Morales. I can say that he is not a good fit for The Blue Jays.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:21 AM

      Upon reading comments by others I see that I missed some changes in the draft rules. The Mariners will lose their second round pick and the Yankees will get a pick in the compensation round.

      • paperlions - Dec 7, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        Right, but the Yankees have already lost that comp pick by signing other FAs with compensation attached. The only protected picks are 1-10, after that teams give up their highest remaining pick for each FA that turned down a QO, including their comp picks.

  2. Honeycutt - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Stephen Drew is my bet.

    • Jeremiah Graves - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      Nah, Drew can play defense. Morales is basically a DH who can play a little bit of part-time 1B. Drew’s glove plays in either league and his bat is good enough for a team to sign on for multiple-years, especially at one of the thinnest positions in the game.

  3. pdowdy83 - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Ervin Santana bares some resemblance to Lohse last season. Both were heading into free agency coming off of career years and have compensation attached. I think with this market though someone will grab him earlier than Lohse went.

    Morales will end up back in Seattle now that Napoli re-signed with Boston.

    Stephen Drew could be a good bet to be on the board for awhile.

  4. leylandshospicenurse - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    First or second round pick really doesn’t matter since the compensation round is in between the first and second round. If Yankees had someone with an unprotected 1st round selection, like say the Braves, sign Cano or Granderson, they wouldn’t receive the Braves 1st round pick. They receive a sandwich pick.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      Good point. I had missed that change.

  5. slaugin - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Exactly… A team will lose their first rounder but that doesn’t mean the other team gets their first rounder, it changed this year. You get a sandwich pick between round 1 and round 2

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      Good point.

  6. slaugin - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Yea I’m surprised there hasn’t been a recent write up on hear that explains the compensation pick, considering it is the first year for it. (Hint, hint)

    • missthemexpos - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      I here you!

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 7, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      Google: “Johnathan Mayo All Qualifying Offers Declined, Draft Order Clarified” for information. Since Kuroda and Napoli have resigned with their team, that part of his story is no longer in effect.

  7. slaugin - Dec 7, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Thanks for the research. Weird that the cardinals pick is below Red Sox seeing how they tied best record and lost World Series… Seriously though, everyone should read this cause it seems like a lot of confusion

  8. slaugin - Dec 7, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    http://m.mlb.com/news/2013/11/11/63845866/jonathan-mayo-all-qualifying-offers-declined-2014-draft-order-clearer

    Here it is for the lazy

  9. slaugin - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    You don’t lose your comp pick, you lose your first round, than next highest and so on, the comp picks is a round set up based solely on teams with QO so if you offered 3 QOs than your team has 3 comp picks up for grabs in that sandwich round… Read that article it will explain it better

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