With Spring Training winding down, it was looking like Kyle Lohse was set to be on the outside looking in as a free agent on Opening Day. The Milwaukee Brewers will not let Kyle Lohse go unsigned, though. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Brewers have reached an agreement with the right-hander. No contract terms were immediately available, but Lohse is heading to Brewers camp to take a physical in order to finalize the deal.
2012 was a banner year for the 34-year old, who set career bests in innings pitched, wins, strikeouts, ERA, FIP, xFIP, and WHIP. You’d think that it would have been easy for him to find a new home. BUT WAIT. There’s the whole issue of Lohse reportedly demanding something in the range of $14-15 million annually, and the signing team having to surrender their first round draft choice, and corresponding value (No. 17 overall, which was valued at $2 million in 2012) as compensation. Lohse turned down the St. Louis Cardinals $13.3 million qualifying offer in favour of hitting the open market.
The market, apparently, was cold. Perhaps some of these forward thinking front office executives took a look into the peripherals and decided it was in their best interest to withhold from tossing top of the rotation money at a guy who benefitted from a .262 BABIP a year ago.
As for the money and term…
The Brewers, according to official, will guarantee Lohse $33 million for three years
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 25, 2013
That $13.3 million qualifying offer looks pretty tasty from here. Lohse gets a couple extra years for his patience, but not the dollars he was reportedly seeking. So, the Cardinals will receive a 17th overall draft selection at the Brewers expense. Division rivalry, you guys.
With that, Lohse will be the highest paid player on the Brewers roster for 2013. Rickie Weeks will earn $11 million in 2014, while Yovani Gallardo is set to make $11.25 million following this season, and Aramis Ramirez will break the bank at $16 million.