Feb. 23: Q of the Day
Why has Kyle Lohse not signed with anyone?
— Hiram G., Searcy, Ark.
It seems I get at least one Kyle Lohse inquiry a day, which means I probably should take the time to answer one. Obviously, Lohse never anticipated still being at home at the start of Spring Training. He thought his 2012 season would make him one of the more coveted free-agent pitchers and would propel him to a lucrative multi-year deal. That didn’t happen. At least, not yet.
What seems to be the biggest knock against Lohse right now isn’t his age or his health but rather his status as one of the few players to be presented a qualifying offer back in November. You might remember that Lohse turned down the Cardinals’ one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer during the offseason. There was no surprise in that decision, as Lohse was still seeking a multi-year deal. The Cardinals made him the offer so that they could secure an extra selection in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
However, because Lohse was made a qualifying offer, any team that signs him will lose its first-round Draft pick and the pool of Draft money that goes with it. The only exception would be for a team that has one of the first 10 selection. If one of these clubs were to sign Lohse, that team would forfeit a second-round selection. The fact that Draft picks are now tied to Draft pool money is the biggest issue here. Clubs that lose an early pick lose a substantial portion of the money that they can allot to their Draft class. That has caused a lot of hesitation, particularly from teams that are not necessarily in a must-win-now position.
Will Lohse be unemployed for long? I don’t envision him remaining home into the regular season, but at this point, he’s likely waiting for injuries to create holes in some club’s rotation. Needs always surface during Spring Training, and Lohse could fill one for a team that might find itself unexpectedly needing starting pitching. Remember, too, that in 2008, he didn’t sign until March 13. Lohse finished that season 15-6 with a 3.78 ERA. So there is some precedent that would suggest Lohse can handle the late start.
* If you would like to submit a question to be considered for the Q of the Day, email it to me at Jenifer.Langosch@MLB.com. Include your first name, last initial and hometown in the submission. Thanks!
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