It almost seems that within the past few weeks potential suitors for Kyle Lohse are backing off. The Milwaukee Brewers on the other hand still find their name in the proverbial ring for a “veteran starter”, but is Lohse that guy? Reportedly, up to eight teams have interest in Lohse, the Brewers being one of them, but each team keeps backing off in their own way. Recently, the Los Angeles Angels who had talked to Lohse previously have not talked to him lately, nor do they want to sign him.
Milwaukee’s name has been linked with Lohse for awhile now, so do they remain to be the only suitor left?
It’s quite unusual to see a top free-agent pitcher like Kyle Lohse not have a team by now. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Despite all the hoopla of the situation, owner Mark Attanasio said this:
"“There’s not an active conversation. But our ears are always open.”"
Whether that means the Brewers’ stance will change in the upcoming weeks remains unknown. GM Doug Melvin has been less than enthusiastic about the idea of giving up the Brew Crew’s 17th overall draft pick for the 34-year-old Lohse. Melvin has expressed his interest that the rotation needs to be an internal work in progress right now and he has confidence in the younger pitchers.
This isn’t to say that a Brewers-Lohse marriage is almost inevitable at this point, especially with the St. Louis Cardinals losing Chris Carpenter for the year and perhaps looking for some starters. Even still, Lohse’s 2012 team doesn’t seem all that interested in re-signing him. Going down the list of teams, not many are willing to deal a draft pick for him. If teams want to wait on him, they’ll have to wait until after the MLB Draft for Lohse to sign with no strings attached, meaning he won’t cost a draft pick anymore. However, that’s a highly unlikely scenario to happen with his talent.
It’s not that Lohse is a bad pitcher, especially coming on strong in 2011 and 2012, but for a guy who has a career ERA of 4.45, you have to wonder how longer his success streak can last. Only three times in his career has Lohse had an ERA below 4.00 in a season, two of them coming in the past two years. Perhaps he is getting stronger as he goes along and maybe a veteran presence can help, but is Milwaukee up for it?
Corey Hart and Ryan Braun both expressed praise for Lohse and have liked the idea of signing him, but they both feel confident enough with the current rotation. I mean, if your own players are making rumblings about the guy, maybe it’s time to get serious. The Baltimore Orioles are the only other team according to MLBTR who still have an active interest in Lohse, and even then their chances of signing him are bleak. This leaves the Brewers in the Lohse ship alone if the Orioles fall out of the contest.
Reportedly, the Brewers would be interested at the right price, which has to be some kind of two-year deal and nothing more. Signing Lohse wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but at the same time, is it really a necessity for a Brewers team that prides itself on its youth? We’ll see folks, we’ll see.