It’s unclear whether there will be room for Kyle Lohse in the Cardinals’ rotation next year following the extension signed by Jake Westbrook on Tuesday. Lohse, a free agent this offseason, told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he hasn’t heard from the Cardinals about contract talks and doesn’t intend to initiate them. When agent Scott Boras asked Lohse if he wanted to talk to the Cardinals, the right-hander said he’d prefer to wait and see.
"I'm not going to them. I figure if they're interested, they'd come to me. That hasn't happened," Lohse said.
Lohse, now in the final season of a four-year, $41MM contract, has positioned himself for another multiyear deal in free agency. He's 33 years old with a 13-2 record and a 2.67 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 169 innings. He told Strauss he’s enjoyed his time in St. Louis and believes the current deal has benefitted both sides.
However, it doesn’t appear that Lohse fits in next season’s rotation. Westbrook, Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Jaime Garcia and Chris Carpenter are the team’s leading rotation candidates and Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal are alternatives. The Cardinals could make Lohse a one-year qualifying offer after the season if they’re prepared to spend $13MM-plus on him in 2013. St. Louis won’t obtain draft pick compensation for losing Lohse unless he obtains a qualifying offer.