Thursday, February 14, 2013
Most likely fits for Lohse
By Jason A. Churchill
We've discussed the free agency of right-hander Kyle Lohse almost daily here at Rumor Central, attempting to connect the dots on which clubs may take a leap on the 34-year-old. There are several factors, including the years and dollars, draft-pick compensation and for some clubs the idea that Lohse might bump a young pitcher ready to establish himself in the big-league rotation.
ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney went through a handful of potential options for Lohse in his blog Wednesday, including the San Diego Padres, who made a play for Hiroki Kuroda earlier this offseason. The Padres, Olney writes, could fit Lohse into their payroll if the asking price has come down far enough since November.
The obstacles for such a marriage include the Friars' collection of young pitchers, plus that pesky draft-pick compensation rule. The Padres are slated to select No. 13 overall and are a club that has done well in the draft in recent years, producing the likes of catcher Yasmani Grandal and top prospects Max Fried, Austin Hedges and Joe Ross. Surrendering that pick for a veteran on what would be a relatively short-term deal may not fit the plans of GM Josh Byrnes. If they did really go after Kuroda, however, that could stand as an indication they're willing to sacrifice the pick for the right player. Whether Lohse qualifies is unclear.
As it stands, writes the great Corey Brock of MLB.com, only three Padres starters can be considered locks or near locks for the rotation -- Edinson Volquez, Clayton Richard and perhaps to a lesser degree, Jason Marquis. Casey Kelly, Robbie Erlin, Tim Stauffer, Tyson Ross, Eric Stults and Anthony Bass will also get looks in spring training. Freddy Garcia is in camp on a non-roster invitation. Andrew Cashner, Stauffer Joe Wieland and Cory Luebke are battling back from injuries. Wieland and Luebke aren't due back intil around mid-season, leaving seven candidates for the final two spots.
Brock notes in his piece that it's not out of the question that Byrnes adds another candidate, and judging by the GM's comments it won't just be another body: "If we feel there's an upgrade, someone with upside or a long-term guy, then OK." Lohse appears to fit that bill. Stay tuned, because Lohse is going to sign with some club at some point fairly soon.
ESPN Insider's Keith Law shares his thoughts on the Baseball Tonight Podcast:
ESPN Insider's Jim Bowden predicts Thursday Lohse will sign with one of two teams:
Jim BowdenLohse fits in L.A., but...
"Brewers GM Doug Melvin said he hasn’t talked to Boras lately, but he did concede that Boras went around him to try to convince owner Mark Attanasio to step up. Remember, the Brewers did make a two-year offer to Ryan Dempster before he signed with the Red Sox. The Brewers could really use Lohse in the rotation behind Yovani Gallardo.
The Rangers have been engaged on Lohse, and if the market drops enough they could swoop in and add yet another starter to what already is a deep and solid rotation. Signing Lohse would allow the Rangers to properly develop their young pitchers rather than rushing them into the rotation."