Chances are that when you think of great pitchers in the game today, you might not think about veteran right-hander Kyle Lohse. That’s okay though. Really, who could think of all of the really good pitchers and who is to say which ones make the leap from good to great? Maybe whether or not Kyle Lohse is a great pitcher or a good pitcher doesn’t matter as much as how good of a fit he could be on a major league team.
He has logged almost 400 innings in the past two seasons with an ERA hovering around the threes. That’s pretty good money spent when so many teams need pitching. Lohse, however, has received no offers. Not one offer from one team. How is that possible? The St. Louis Cardinals appear to have written him off since he has played there for the past five seasons and have given him nothing of a sniff.
Let’s look at what Lohse has done specifically in the past two years. In 2011 he went 14 – 8 with a 3.39 ERA. Last season, all he did was put up a 16-8 win loss with a 2.86 ERA. Are you kidding me? Sure he is going to be asking somewhere around $12 million or more but who wouldn’t want fifteen or so wins and 200 plus innings in a starter? A lot of teams have an “ace” that doesn’t put up those numbers.
One problem is that signing Lohse requires draft pick compensation. Even considering that he is still worth a nice sized deal. He is still on the good side of his thirties and while he may be older than some free agent pitchers, he also has nearly effortless mechanics. Throw in the mix that he knows how to handle a bat in a pinch and stays constantly healthy and I just ran out of reasons not to throw money at Kyle Lohse.
Since the Cardinals apparently don’t want Lohse, someone else is bound to sign him. If your team is still looking for starting pitching as are the New York Mets among others, I’m sure you are begging them to give Lohse a look. Even smaller market teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates could probably come off of enough money to sign Lohse if he sticks around the market longer.
I am sure that Lohse will find a home before the start of the 2013 MLB season. I’m just shocked at the lack of interest he is garnering after such a successful string of starts over two seasons. I have a sinking feeling that the teams that pass on him now might think better of it about half way through the season. As in all things, time will tell.