Brewers’ Trade Candidate: Kyle Lohse

Over the next few days, I’ll be taking a look at some potential players the Milwaukee Brewers could trade away during this current offseason.

First up is the ace from the starting rotation this year, Kyle Lohse.

Kyle Lohse was the number one starter in Milwaukee this past season. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s funny to now think back and see that many Brewers’ fans wanted nothing to do with Lohse during last offseason. Perhaps they were still gun shy of the other St. Louis Cardinals’ player they signed years prior in Jeff Suppan. However, Lohse is no Suppan and that was definitely for the best in Milwaukee. While he was a late signing in March, Lohse delivered for this ball-club in a big way that no other starting pitcher could really match.

Lohse sported a deceiving 11-10 record this season while posting an ERA of 3.35 and a WHIP of 1.17 all in 198.2 innings (32 starts). He did see a slight drop in his K/9 (6.10 to 5.66) and a rise in his HR/9 (0.81 to 1.18), but nothing major really happened to him that would hurt his trade value. For the most part, Lohse was not only the Brewers’ most consistent starter in 2013, but probably one of the healthiest too.

I’d imagine many teams would have an interest in Lohse as a number two or three in their rotations. If I had to speculate a market for Lohse, I’d say the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians could all be viable places for Lohse to move to. However, none of those teams have actual connections to him, so it’s hard to say for certain where he would land should the Brewers choose to trade him.

The upside for Lohse is that he offers experience and in the past three seasons, he has been a tough pitcher for a lot of opposing line-ups. Lohse stood out the most in St. Louis with his successful seasons there and for the most part, carried that over to Milwaukee. Lohse probably has the highest trade value out of any pitcher on the team.

It’s no secret that Lohse is probably the best bargaining chip the Brewers have this offseason. I don’t see the team parting with anyone else that has the potential to be here for quite a few years, unlike Lohse. He’s still a solid two or three in any rotation (of course he’s a number one in Milwaukee) and I would think there would have to be a few teams inquiring on his availability.

Should the Brewers part ways with Lohse? Only if there’s a good return, because honestly I don’t advocate trading Lohse. If the Brewers want to be better than this season, they’ll need the pitching and Lohse could look to be the veteran who leads the younger guys to success. I’m not saying that will happen, but instead of having a fire sale on the decent players, let them teach the younger players the ropes before their contracts run out. Then maybe if the rotation picks it up next season I could justify trading Lohse, but not now.

What do you think? Should the Brewers trade Lohse or should they keep him? Let us know in the comments below.

Topics: Kyle Lohse, Milwaukee Brewers

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  • Sean O’Connell

    He was the ace, but he was really only an average pitcher, equivalent to a #4 starting pitcher. Should they trade him? I say yes, because of the money savings, and the fact that the team isnt going to compete this year. And the retun will be that of an average #4 starting pitcher, i.e. nothing that will dramatically improve the value of the farm system.

    • Benjamin Orr

      That is true, he would help alleviate some salary. The team probably isn’t going anywhere soon, but I still think maybe a half a year at best would be nice to keep Lohse and have him help steer the younger guys onto the right path.