It’s been a wild and crazy ride that has been Kyle Lohse‘s off-season, and the one-man rumor mill has apparently yielded its latest potential destination: the Milwaukee Brewers.
Of course, Brewers GM Doug Melvin did express the team’s lack of interest in paying the righty his asking price a couple of weeks ago, so how much his mind has changed is probably somewhat questionable.
Then again, considering that team have been coming out of the woodwork to express their lack of interest in Lohse, it’s possible that the Scott Boras client has changed his demands, too.
The 34-year old Lohse had been reportedly asking for a multi-year deal worth more than the $13.3 million qualifying offer that he received from the St. Louis Cardinals. On top of that financial commitment, teams would also have to give up a first round pick to sign the free agent, which has understandably seen the market of teams that are not interested increase over the off-season.
Still, as Jon Heyman says, it’s an “unusual situation”, and he thinks that the Brewers would be a “bona fide contender” with the addition of Lohse, and that “a three-year offer should get it done at this point.
Considering that the Brew Crew’s starting rotation is essentially a group of question marks led by team ace Yovani Gallardo, there’s little doubt that adding Lohse would make them better in the long run.
But, does he truly make them a contender?
At his very best in 2012, the former Cardinals pitcher was a 3.6 fWAR player. That would not have made up the difference between them and the Cardinals last year, and considering that the team will be without a first baseman for at least the first month, I’d have my doubts as to whether a middle-of-the rotation type like Lohse can really get it done to put them over the top.
This is not to mention that the team is also now without Shaun Marcum, who was a 2.8 fWAR player in 2011 when healthy.
Add to the fact that 34-year old pitchers who post career-highs don’t tend to stay there (unless their name is R.A. Dickey), and that Lohse’s velocity has been in decline over the last few years, and there are serious questions as to how much value the Brewers will get out of the righty at age-35 and age-36.
Throw in the draft pick, I’d think that any deal involving Lohse would have to be a two-year deal at this point, and potentially at a lower per-year rate than what he’s been looking for.
The Brewers need pitching, and Kyle Lohse would help them. The only problem is that they probably need more than Lohse to truly compete in the NL Central, and three years is a little too much to commit to for a piece that probably won’t get them where they want to be.