FanDuel - WFBC

March 26, 2013

Kyle Lohse Signs 3-Year Deal with Brewers: Pitcher Kyle Lohse has signed a three-year, $33 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers with an extra $1 million in performance bonuses. Lohse, 34, was 30-11 with a 3.11 ERA and 1.13 WHIP the past two seasons. The Cardinals will get a first-round pick from the Brewers as compensation because they made Lohse a qualifying, one-year offer. "[T]he draft pick exchange with a division-rival could haunt Milwaukee in the long term," writes Cliff Corcoran of SI.

posted by rcade to baseball at 10:17 AM - 8 comments

This is a crazy deal - the Brewers add a guy whose profile (fly ball) doesn't match their park, at a rate that's not really discounted at all from his qualifying offer, and they give up a first-rounder and a bunch of prospect money in the process.

The Brewers even with 2012 Lohse aren't likely contenders for the division title, so how they got so desperate for not-that-immediate pitching help is beyond me. Boras is an effing magician.

posted by dfleming at 01:37 PM on March 26

If the Brewers draft a pitcher in the first-round and he becomes their number two starter for three years, wouldn't they be happy with that?

Draft picks are often overvalued when compared to proven commodities. This seems like a good deal to me.

posted by rcade at 02:45 PM on March 26

If the Brewers draft a pitcher in the first-round and he becomes their number two starter for three years, wouldn't they be happy with that?

Lohse has pitched at that level three of the last five years (the other two years, was injured and/or ineffective) , so he's by no means a lock to be a #2 starter for three years, especially given he's 34 this year and moving to a hitter-friendly park that he's been awful at (although facing the Brewers can do that to a guy.)

I mean, yes, he's a known commodity, but he's not a lock to be #2 starter in that rotation for three years, seeing as he's never been #2 level for three straight years and is at the age where most pitchers decline.

posted by dfleming at 04:11 PM on March 26

... so he's by no means a lock ...

He could suck or the draft pick could suck. I'm just exploring a premise. Isn't a No. 2 starter for three years worth a first-round draft pick?

posted by rcade at 06:38 PM on March 26

The draft pick sucking doesn't cost you 33 million dollars.

I do think this makes the Brewers a much more likely playoff contender this year.

posted by DudeDykstra at 12:12 AM on March 27

It's really opportunity cost - what else could $33 million have bought the Brewers as an upgrade to their rotation that would also have left them their first rounder? Are they really good enough this year to have needed to invest that money this year rather than in next year's free agent market?

$11 million doesn't buy you what it used to on the FA pitching market (Haren, Jackson, Peavy all got more money annually - Jackson, though, was the only one to get more than two years), I just wonder why with next to no market left for his services he got three years at 34 years old. Some of it might be the first-rounder, but still.

posted by dfleming at 06:48 AM on March 27

Are they really good enough this year to have needed to invest that money this year rather than in next year's free agent market?

I tend to agree with this line of thinking, but the Brewers could be considering whether their window of opportunity is going to slam shut soon with the MLB's single-minded pursuit of Braun.

posted by yerfatma at 09:51 AM on March 27

Are they really good enough this year to have needed to invest that money this year rather than in next year's free agent market?

Scoring runs hasn't been a problem for this team. The idea is that if you can ride a hot start into contention for the division, then make a trade to pick up more pitching help before the deadline. Lohse is not a savior, but if he puts up decent numbers, he could be part of that hot start.

Obviously, everything has to go right.

the Brewers could be considering whether their window of opportunity is going to slam shut soon with the MLB's single-minded pursuit of Braun.

This. Weeks only has this year and next on his contract (unless his option vests, which I'm not really optimistic about). Corey Hart is on a 3-year deal, but is probably going to start going downhill fast, maybe even this year. Aramis Ramirez is in year two of his 3-year deal, and will not be re-signed by this team.

I want to believe that Braun is clean. Maybe it's homerism, but I honestly do think the chain-of-custody issues warranted throwing out the positive result. I'd say the same if it was Gary Sheffield or Chris Carpenter, or any other player I love to hate. The current frenzy about Braun's name on a napkin, well... let's just say it puts doubts in my mind I'd rather not have.

Braun is going to be the most scrutinized player by the league, and my guess is they'll bend their own rules and protocols to nail him to the wall. Jean Segura, Carlos Gomez, and Norichika Aoki are all useful players, but you don't go deep in the playoffs on their backs. You need pitching, and you need some depth. The Lohse deal gives the Brewers that this year, and this may be their only year for a while.

posted by rocketman at 10:42 AM on March 27

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