The Milwaukee Brewers have had one of the quieter winter meetings this off-season after many speculated they would make plenty of noise going after top notch relievers and a veteran starter. An ESPN columnist believes there is still a way for the Brewers to salvage their off-season and improve the team with one specific free-agent signing.
ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden believes starting right-handed pitcher Kyle Lohse is the answer to Milwaukee’s problems. He thinks that the Brewers are already contenders and capable of winning the National League Central division but that signing Lohse will throw them over the top. However, I completely disagree with this thought process.
It is not that Lohse is not capable of improving Milwaukee’s starting rotation, it is more of the fact that I do not think he is worth the amount of money his agent Scott Boras thinks he is worth.
Lohse had the best statistical season of his career in 2012 in which he posted a 16-3 record with a 2.86 earned run average, 143 strikeouts, a 1.09 WHIP and 3.9 wins above replacement in 211 innings, all of which were career highs. These numbers will garner him a significant contract with a team that desperately needs a decent starter. However, the fact that Lohse is just now posting these outstanding numbers at 34 years old will not sit well with many teams.
Boras will try and get his client a four-year, $60 million deal after Lohse’s successful season. This is a number the Brewers will never pay after they got burned on long-term contracts with Jeff Suppan and Randy Wolf the last few years. Milwaukee has a specific price range that they are sticking to and $15 million per season for a starter exiting his prime does not fit the bill.
Signing Lohse may look good on paper and it may “save their respective off-seasons” but the Brewers have no intentions of acquiring a player just because it will look good. They are interested in results and therefore would feel much more comfortable giving several talented prospects a chance in the starting rotation, especially since it will cost close to nothing to do so.