There's always a free agent left without a chair when the music stops and Spring Training begins, but rarely is the tenth-best one unsigned on February 23rd. That's the situation with Kyle Lohse. Back in October I questioned the idea of a four or five-year contract for the 34-year-old righty, and four months later, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that three years "should get it done at this point."
Brewers sluggers Ryan Braun and Corey Hart offered praise for Lohse in talking with Heyman, but also expressed confidence in the team's current rotation. Heyman writes that Brewers owner Mark Attanasio "has been involved" in the team's talks with agent Scott Boras, but GM Doug Melvin said, "Things change. You never know. But at this point, we want to look at our [young] guys first." Melvin noted that he's not opposed to giving up a draft pick to sign a 30-year-old to a three or four-year deal, but given Lohse's age, Heyman says the GM is not anxious to surrender the 17th overall draft pick. As for the Attanasio note, he spoke about Lohse a week ago, saying, "There's not an active conversation. But our ears are always open."
In his article, Heyman runs through the eight most likely players for Lohse, whose market was examined by our own Mark Polishuk a couple of days ago. The Angels, ranked fifth on Heyman's list, are "not interested in Kyle Lohse, have not talked about him in some time," according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. I think Lohse will end up with a one or two-year deal, perhaps with a vesting option, and I'd look toward teams that would not stand to lose a first-round pick to sign him. Having already signed two players who turned down qualifying offers, the Indians stand to lose the least by adding Lohse. They would forfeit their third-round choice.