With the Chicago Cubs pitching being a bit of a weakness, and Kyle Lohse being by far the best option for starting pitching left on the free agent market, it would be tempting to suggest that the Chicago Cubs should make him an offer. On the surface, it’s not a terrible idea. Kyle Lohse had the best season of his career last year, going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA for the St. Louis Cardinals. That’s all good stuff, but there are a few huge problems in any plan to bring the starting pitcher to Chicago.
First of all, he is 34 years old and seeking at least a three year deal. From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense for Kyle Lohse to want to get a long term contract to compensate for his success in the previous two seasons. 34 is generally about the time that most MLB players start to feel their age and numbers will start to dwindle, which makes it hard to justify giving a three year deal to a 34 year-old with a career 4.45 ERA. To make things worse, signing him would cost the Chicago Cubs a draft pick, which is the last thing a team in rebuilding mode wants to give up.
Also, Kyle Lohse just isn’t that good. He’s had two straight above average seasons, but he has had more awful seasons than good ones in his career. 9-13 with a 5.34 ERA in 2004, 9-13 with a 4.18 in 2005, 4-8 with a 6.55 in 2010, and 6-10 with a 4.74 in 2009 are all just really bad numbers for a pitcher that is expecting to cash in during the offseason.
Edwin Jackson was probably a good signing for the Chicago Cubs, but he was seriously overpaid. If Kyle Lohse is expecting the same kind of compensation that Edwin Jackson received, it would be too big of an investment to make. Two above average years after many seasons of mediocrity does not justify the kind of money and length of contract that Kyle Lohse would need to be happy.