It is now late February and RHP Kyle Lohse has still not signed. He is represented by Scott Boras, who is known for have late-signing clients, but this is getting ridiculous. At 34, Lohse can be considered a seasoned veteran but he is still missing out on valuable time that he could be spending in an MLB camp.
I have already evaluated Lohse’s chances of signing with the Pirates. Here are four other teams that have not been strongly linked to Lohse, but could be in the hunt to sign him.
The Texas Rangers have a need for a legitimate No. 1 starter like Kyle Lohse. Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison do not have the talent to headline a rotation at this point in their respective careers. For a team that is a serious contender, they could definitely use a pitcher with postseason experience like Lohse if they want to contend with the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West.
The Colorado Rockies would be an interesting fit for Lohse, as we know that the Rockies are very desperate for pitching. We saw the Rockies experiment with a four-man rotation last year just to try to find some success from the pitching staff. It is unlikely that Lohse would want to pitch at Coors Field, but he could for the right price. Reports have been that Lohse would want anywhere from $13-15 million, it would take substantially more for Lohse to go to the Rockies.
The Seattle Mariners have a very young rotation going into the 2013 season. Headlined by the recently extended Felix Hernandez, the Mariners have Joe Saunders as the only other pitcher with legitimate MLB experience. The Mariners do have three pitchers in MLB.com’s top 100 prospects, but bringing in Lohse as a No. 2 could make sense if the Mariners want to make a run in a very competitive AL west division in 2013.
The Baltimore Orioles have a need for a No. 1 starter just like Texas, Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen are not headliners at this point. With former top prospects Brian Matusz and Zach Britton not panning out, the need for a pitcher that can carry a rotation through the playoffs should be a front burner issue for GM Dan Duquette if he wants his team to go farther in the playoffs in 2013.
Lohse has not given us any hints on where he might sign and he has no timetable either. Rumors have floated around that he could wait until after the amateur draft in June to sign because he would no longer be linked to draft-pick compensation. Lohse is one of the premier starting pitchers in the MLB and should be an opening day starter for someone, but he is running out of time if he wants that to happen.
Max Gross can be followed on Twitter @maxgross55