Should Minnesota Twins Consider Signing Kyle Lohse?

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Lohse is the last big name free agent left on the market. He’s a solid righty who will eat up innings. As a fan of the Minnesota Twins I can’t help but wonder, should GM Terry Ryan make a play?

It’s a little bit weird Lohse hasn’t been signed yet. You’d think a guy who went 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 2012 would have a job before Spring Training 2013. He’s got 30 wins and nearly 400 innings pitched over the last two years plus a World Series ring. For all intents and purposes, he should have been a hot commodity entering free agency, yet pitchers and catchers reported last week and he’s still without a team.

As a Twins fan, I’d like a proven starter like Lohse in the rotation. He’s a solid two or three guy who will throw a lot of innings–something the Twins definitely need. And while the Twins do not have a great team going into 2013, a front-end starter would create the illusion they could compete. If the Twins began the year with Scott DiamondVance Worley and Kyle Lohse anchoring the rotation, two former MVPs on the field and a farm system chalked full of prospects, it would give fans a little bit of hope–something we definitely need going into 2013.

But there are some reasons to be skeptical of the veteran righty. Lohse already had a stint with the Twins that didn’t end especially well. Twins fans were thrilled to deal him in 2006 when his 7+ ERA was ruining the Twins’ mojo. His success has been newly discovered and he’s never really performed well in the American League. Plus, he’s on the wrong side of 30 and has spent time on the DL in 2009 and 2010. Surely, his agent Scott Boras is looking for a $10+million/year, multi-year deal–probably not the type of baggage the rebuilding Twins would want to take on.

I would appreciate the Twins signing Lohse as the front-end starter they promised their fan base heading into the offseason. It would give Twins’ fans a glimmer of hope–a ‘if a few pieces fit together, why not us’ mentality. A type of mentaility that most Twins fans are not embracing as Twins’ camp gets underway. But, in the bigger picture, it probably wouldn’t be the most shrewd move of Ryan’s career. It will be interesting to see where Lohse, a starting pitcher with plenty of upside, ends up as we get closer and closer to opening day.

Follow Max on Twitter @maxoselim

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