With Michael Bourn finally signing with the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday, this leaves Kyle Lohse as the only prominent free agent remaining. Because of the long wait, the market has shrunk to a minimal amount of teams. One of those teams that could be interested in Lohse, however, could be the San Diego Padres.
The Padres were making a huge push for Hiroki Kuroda earlier in the off-season, so the need for starting pitching is definitely there. Outside of Clayton Richard and Edinson Voloquez, though, there really isn’t another “sure thing” in that rotation, even if they have plenty of candidates to choose form. But there isn’t an “ace” to lead their rotation, which is why the Lohse connection is picking up some stream. Having said that, the Padres need to step away from that temptation for a variety of reasons.
The first reason carries the most weight in the decision, and that is that the Padres would have to forfeit their first round (#13) draft pick. There aren’t a whole lot of players worth that loss – - let alone Kyle Lohse. The second reason San Diego shouldn’t go after Lohse is the fact they can turn any ordinary pitcher into a formidable one. That ballpark transforms terrible starting pitchers into average ones every single year. Lastly, I’m willing to bet Lohse cannot get a deal that’s longer than two guaranteed years. While I see the Padres improving over the next two seasons, I can’t see them improving enough to make the playoffs, making the forfeited draft pick hurt even worse.
The teams that should be interested in Lohse are teams on the fringe (Milwaukee Brewers) and teams that have their pick protected or already forfeited. Neither of which describe San Diego Padres.