Paying Lohse big bucks a big mistake by Cardinals
September, 30, 2008
If you blinked you probably missed it, but yesterday Kyle Lohse finally got his big payday. After a few blinks, I headed over to Viva El Birdos to see what Larry Borowsky had to say
re the lohse contract --- goold reports at Bird Land that it's similar to the carlos silva deal from last winter, ie 4 years and $48m. if those figures are anywhere close to true, i think it's a dreadful use of resources; all-star money for an average player. the contract has a chance to pay fair returns in year one, but by year three i think it's gonna be a mangy dog -- the type of deal that makes the team worse, not better; the type of deal everybody bitches about on talk radio. at the very top of his game lohse might be worth $12m a year, but no player is at his peak all the time. he's never going to give you a $15m season for your $12m --- he's just not that good --- but he is very capable of having a $5m year. it's nearly all downside risk; there's almost no upside. check out the playoff teams this year; how many mid- to back-end starters are making $10m a year on those teams? i count two: Ted Lilly (who the cards could have had 2 years ago for less than they're now gonna pay lohse) and Jeff Suppan, who had a Joel Pineiro-like season for the brewers and may not crack their postseason rotation. now look at the crappy teams --- miguel batistas and jarrod washburns and kevin millwoodses and gil meches abound. the 2008 playoffs will be dominated by young, cost-controlled starting pitchers --- the dodgers, phillies, rays, angels, and twins / chisox are all trotting at least 2 of them out there. last year's playoffs were similarly skewed (see the rotations of the rockies, indians, dbacks).