Earlier today, former Washington Nationals GM and current ESPN talking head, Jim Bowden, tweeted that Lance Berkman has recommended to Texas Rangers GM, Jon Daniels, to sign his former teammate with the St. Louis Cardinals, Kyle Lohse. Berkman and Lohse were teammates with the Cardinals for two season and won the 2011 World Series together. Lohse is known to be looking for a multi year deal but may settle for a one year deal with a World Series caliber club.
In a recent interview, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak, stated that it “didn’t make much sense” for his club to resign the right hander who gained six votes in the 2012 NL Cy Young award voting. The 34 year old Lohse enjoyed his best season as pro in 2012. Lohse went 16-3 over 33 starts while throwing a career high 211 innings. He also sported a cool 2.86 ERA and struck out 143 batters while walking only 38.
Lohse qualifies as a Type A free agent and given the new rules of the new CBA regarding draft compensation (along with the fact that Scott Boras is his agent), it may be deterring teams from signing Lohse. This same reasoning could likely be way St. Louis has made no attempts to resign him other than extending him a one year qualifying offer of $13.3 million following the period in which to extend such offers to your free agents. Should Lohse sign elsewhere, St. Louis would get an extra draft pick. The fact that a 34 year old righty coming off his best season and can’t secure a multi year deal is a direct result of a flawed system that Bud Selig tried to “fix” capping international free agent spending by having the signing team sacrifice a premier draft pick.
Enter, the Texas Rangers. The Rangers are in the midst of a terrible offseason. They lost franchise cornerstone and former MVP CF, Josh Hamilton, to the rival Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, traded fan favorite Michael Young to the Philadelphia Phillies, lost Ryan Dempster (a veteran right hander they traded for at the 2012 trade deadline) to the Boston Red Sox (with no draft compensation coming their way since he was acquired during a mid season trade) and have not yet added anyone other than Lance Berkman. They have also been tied to Arizona Diamondbacks All Star RF, Justin Upton, for quite a while but almost had to watch him sent to another division rival, the Seattle Mariners, before Upton invoked his partial no trade clause and cancelled the deal. The Rangers also have one of, if not the, best farm systems in baseball. The Rangers fit the mold of a team that could be willing to sacrifice a draft pick to sign the veteran righty to help bolster their rotation and fill a need all at the same time. Having his former teammate and friend, Lance Berkman, in Jon Daniels ear, could only help that cause.