Still stuck in free agency limbo, Kyle Lohse could probably draw parallels between his current situation to Michael Bourn‘s.
Both were expected to be top options in the off-season, and both saw their supposed market of suitors whittle down as the months passed by. Bourn’s story ended on a lucrative note, of course, as the Cleveland Indians swooped in as the mystery team to give him the deal he wanted.
But if Lohse is thinking the same happy ending will happen to him with the AL Central club, well, he might end up being a little disappointed:
So, the Indians join a long line of teams that are either not interested (even though they keep saying that they’re not), or are waiting patiently for the price to drop. That part of the story should surprise nobody.
What is surprising, however, is that good ol’ Jose Canseco came along, and said something that…actually kind of makes sense:
Yes, between Bourn, Mark Reynolds, and Nick Swisher, the Indians have committed $110 million of salary to three players that will help their offense – and that’s a whole lot of money.
That means, however, that they’ve skimped on the pitching part, with only a $6 million deal to Brett Myers, and minor league deals to reclamation projects Scott Kazmir and Daisuke Matsuzaka to count for potential improvements on the mound.
They did trade for Trevor Bauer, but even if he pans out, and Kazmir is as “scary” as he looks, the fact is that the entire rotation – from Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez on to whoever might end up taking the No. 5 spot – is a series of question marks.
In fact, second-year player Zack McAllister might just end up being the team’s best pitcher, but compared to the kind of pitching they’re going up against in the division – Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, James Shields? That’s hardly a reassuring thought.
Lohse is no Verlander, obviously, but he is the best free-agent pitcher available, and he should make the Indians better – you might even say there’s a pretty good argument that he’d easily be the team’s starting pitcher, if signed today.
Considering that the team has rebuilt the offense by spending money, and really do need the help in pitching, Lohse, the player, makes for a pretty good fit, even if the price tag might not.
But on a two-year deal? Well then, that might be enough to change things.