Brewers Signing of Kyle Lohse Shows Discrepancy Between Management, Ownership


The Brewers were not going to sign Kyle Lohse.

Instead, the team was adamantly centered on relying upon a steady core of young, relatively inexperienced arms for the upcoming



Or, at least, general manager Doug Melvin and skipper Ron Roenicke were adamantly centered on the youth movement. That’s why, when it was announced that the Brewers came to terms with Lohse on a three year, $33 million deal, heads were scratched and the puzzle pieces didn’t add up.

In this Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article from February, Tom Haudricourt reported that Melvin had not had any conversations with the 34-year-old right hander’s agent, Scott Boras. The outlook on the way the organization was to go about this season and beyond in terms of pitching hadn’t changed since that article was published, judging by the comments of Melvin and Roenicke. Milwaukee even did so much as to come out publicly with its starting rotation.

Once again, no mentions of Lohse.

It seemed to be the only ones pushing the move were a select few relentless members of the national media and, apparently, team owner Mark Attanasio.

Doug Melvin likes mustaches, Canadian bacon, and holiday parties. (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)

If Brewers management wasn’t in favor of the move, repeatedly turning down rumors about a pending signing of Lohse, yet, a week before the season opens, the team goes off and inks him to a multi-year deal, there has to be pressure coming from ownership to get it done.

There have been no official reports of it, but the Lohse move had to be a move pushed for by Attanasio, which shows an evident discrepancy in the ideas and outlooks of the two sides.

The GM and the owner were clearly not on the same page.

At Brewers On Deck, Attanasio asserted that he would be willing to give up the team’s first round draft pick in order to bring in Lohse if the money was right–though, at the time, Boras was still looking for upwards of $13 million/year for his client. Melvin, on the other hand, felt the draft pick was important with the path the organization was going down.

That path followed the route of Wily Peralta Way, Mike Fiers Manor, Tyler Thornburg Trail, and Hiram Burgos Boulevard. If the Brewers were to make a run to the postseason this season or next or, heck, even the season after that, the–supposed–plan was to make it there on the arms of these pitchers.

Now, with Lohse being the highest-paid player on the roster, ownership is teetering down the “all-in” path of two offseasons ago when Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, and Francisco Rodriguez were all brought aboard.

All the signs point toward this not being a move that Attanasio, not Melvin, pushed for. The disparity between the visions of the club is evident. Lohse, in all fairness, is an effective middle-rotation starter, but, just a day ago, the team was headed in a different direction.

We didn’t believe the Brewers were going to sign Kyle Lohse. But they did.