Kyle Lohse has been a vital piece to the Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff since day one. He has not only had success on the field, but he has also been an important teammate and veteran to the young pitching staff. As a pitcher who has experienced everything, he has been both a sounding board and a person to offer words of wisdom when the young starters have needed it.
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But with the St. Louis Cardinals recently losing their ace, Adam Wainwright for the season and the chance to improve the organization as a whole, the Brewers should consider trading Lohse to the Cardinals.
Yes, inter-division trades rarely happen and the Cardinals have the prospects to fill their rotation internally, but a trade could be in the best interests of both teams. By getting Lohse, the Cardinals would get a pitcher who is battle and playoff tested and an arm that has had an ERA of 3.69 over his time with the Brewers.
He would also be an arm to be counted on to eat innings in a rotation that is filled with other health concerns. With young pitchers like Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez and the soon to be promoted Marco Gonzales, Lohse could provide even more leadership to the rotation.
In the final year of his contract, Lohse would come at a much cheaper cost (both money-wise and prospect-wise) than a pitcher like Cole Hamels. CBS Sports Jon Heyman has already tweeted that with the way things are going in Milwaukee, players like Lohse and Garza may be on the market very soon.
For the Brewers, trading Lohse could finally give Tyler Thornburg a shot to regain his spot in the rotation. Before the Brewers acquired Garza late last spring, Thornburg was the Brewers top-rated prospect and ticketed to be the teams’ number five starter. He has already been moved to Colorado Springs to be stretched out and with a move he could again have a chance to prove himself in the rotation.
By trading him this early, the Brewers could also greatly upgrade their system by adding a plus arm or bat from the Cardinals stacked system. In making a deal the Brewers could target players such as outfielder Stephen Piscotty or catcher Carson Kelly who both would instantly become the top players at their positions in the Brewers’ system. They could also look for pitchers like, Tim Cooney or (wishful thinking ) Alexander Reyes or Rob Kaminsky who are great plus arms with several years to grow into their high prospect status.
It makes no sense for the Brewers to keep Lohse on the roster all year long and by trading him relatively soon they they can maximize their return. After a rocky start to his season, Lohse has settled into form in his last two outings. With an eye towards the future, the Brewers need to get the deal done as soon as possible.