Is Kyle Lohse the Brewers’ best trading piece?


With the way that the 2013 season has gone for the Milwaukee Brewers, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them as sellers. Some notable names floating about with trade rumors have been Yovani Gallardo, Aramis Ramirez, Kyle Lohse and even members of the bullpen.

That said, does Lohse become the best target from Milwaukee in the perspectives of looming teams?

Kyle Lohse has been the most consistent pitcher in the Brewers’ rotation all season. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Right now, Lohse would seem to be the most attractive starter trade target out in baseball next to Ricky Nolasco, Bud Norris and Matt Garza. It’s not that anyone wants to see Lohse go, but one would have to imagine with how well Gallardo performed in June, that the Brewers at least need one consistent starter in the rotation. Of course, trading Lohse would mean that the Brewers wasted their first round draft pick for this year in signing a guy for three years who you ended up trading halfway through the first year.

Monetary values aside, Lohse would deem to be the only real potential target out of the rotation aside from Gallardo, who’s stock may be falling. It’s highly doubtful that rookie Wily Peralta has any suitors, mainly due to struggles in 2013. Aside from Peralta, the rotation consists of more rookies in Donovan Hand and Johnny Hellweg, both of which won’t see any suitors, leaving Lohse as the top dog.

In the bullpen, John Axford has been incredibly impressive in his roles, not allowing an earned run since May 14 and has acquired three wins and six holds since then. Francisco Rodriguez probably also has some high trade value as a closer, especially for teams like the Detroit Tigers who need a solid presence for the ninth inning. Yet, do Axford or K-Rod hold the same value as a starting pitcher?

During the off-season, there were teams, although initially hesitant due to losing a draft pick, that were very interested in the veteran. Now looking back on that, it makes you wonder what it is exactly that the Brewers saw in Lohse. Sure, he had done extremely well in 2011 and 2012 with the St. Louis Cardinals, so clearly it looked as if the success would span into 2013. On most teams, Lohse’s numbers this season, a 3-6 record with a 3.63 ERA would find him as a typical middle man in a rotation, maybe someone to give the starters a little push over the edge, but in Milwaukee he’s been the go to guy all season.

Now tonight Lohse faces another test as he battles the Washington Nationals, trying to salvage some ground for his losing ball club. If Lohse does well, then up goes his trade value even more. If Lohse does poorly, well then the Brewers may very well be faced with trading him or Gallardo if neither once becomes the clear cut choice.

Does Lohse present himself as the biggest trade target on the market for Milwaukee? Aside from Ramirez, I’d have to say yes. Sure, Axford and Rodriguez make intriguing cases to be traded, but with their recent histories, some teams may hold back. Lohse however is different, especially to a team that has a real shot at contending. By the end of July if Lohse is traded, I wouldn’t be surprised as he’s done well for the Brew Crew, so don’t get too attached to the 34-year old.