Kyle Lohse Rumors

AL West Notes: Lohse, Garland, Astros

Here are a few updates from the American League West:


Kyle Lohse Rumors: Friday

Kyle Lohse continues pitching simulated games in anticipation of signing with an MLB team before the amateur draft takes place in June. The market for the right-hander finally seems to be taking shape. The Angels haven't fully ruled out Lohse and the Rockies have done their due diligence. The Rangers and Brewers are keeping tabs on Lohse, but the Royals and Reds don't appear to be talking to agent Scott Boras.

Here are today’s Lohse rumors with the most recent items up top…

  • GM Jon Daniels told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that the Rangers aren't likely to sign Lohse (Twitter links). Daniels didn't completely rule out a deal, however. Rival general managers say Lohse remains unsigned because of Boras' demands, not just the new draft pick compensation rules, Bowden writes.

Earlier updates

  • The Blue Jays are at their payroll limit and will not pursue Lohse, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). While Ricky Romero has looked shaky this spring, J.A. Happ provides insurance as an extra starter.
  • Lohse told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that he’s “in an awkward spot” now that the season is approaching. The 34-year-old is scheduled to pitch a simulated game at a local community college today. Boras predicted to Nightengale that teams will intensify their pursuit of Lohse once younger pitchers falter. "His value only rises because there's a greater need now. The demand for him is created by attrition when teams learn that their younger pitching can't meet their need.” The agent said “plenty” of teams are interested.

Olney On Yankees, Lohse, Bradley

Here is the latest from ESPN.com's Buster Olney:

  • With the Yankees facing more uncertainties in 2013 than the club is accustomed to, it will be interesting to watch whether owner Hal Steinbrenner reacts like his father might have if the team get off to a slow start, writes Olney (Insider sub. req'd). While the club's "austerity plan makes a lot of financial sense," Olney suggests, "it's one thing to come up with a plan in the offseason in a quiet office in December, and a whole other challenge to live it hour by hour through a long summer."
  • While the deterrent power of the draft pick compensation tied to free agent hurler Kyle Lohse is well-documented, Olney notes that it only becomes more impactful over time. With the amateur draft now only two months away, "clubs tend to be more clingy with their draft picks than they might have been last fall." And following the news that Lohse appears unlikely to wait until June to sign to "be free of the draft-pick anchor," Olney offers some reasons why the former Cardinal might not take such an approach: clubs would be wary of such a long layoff at his age (34) and could well "want to see him throw before jumping in."
  • Olney also discussed the decision facing the Red Sox on young outfield prospect Jackie Bradley Jr., whose torrid spring (combined with the continued unavailability of David Ortiz) has presented Boston with a difficult balance of short-term reward and long-term cost. The service time considerations for Bradley Jr. were also broken down in detail by ESPN.com's Gordon Edes. Indeed, as reported by Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Sox GM Ben Cherington has made clear that "there are other factors" at play beyond the young outfielder's ability and readiness.

 



Kyle Lohse Rumors: Thursday

Agent Scott Boras told Peter Gammons of MLB Network that right-hander Kyle Lohse won’t wait until after the upcoming amateur draft to sign with a new team. Here’s the latest on which teams are interested in the free agent…

  • The Rockies have done their due diligence on Lohse, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. However, the club would have to increase payroll to sign Lohse and the sides would only complete a deal “if by a very, very remote chance he just flat-out doesn’t have anything,” in the words of Rosenthal’s source. The right-hander wants to match Ryan Dempster’s two-year, $26.5MM contract, Rosenthal reports. The Rangers and Brewers are maintaining contact with Lohse. 
  • One week after Spring Training began, Lohse was asking for a three-year, $45MM contract, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports (on Twitter). That asking price has continued to drop.

Earlier updates:

  • Lohse could be close to contributing at the MLB level, Yahoo's Tim Brown reports (on Twitter). The 34-year-old is throwing 90-pitch simulated games in Arizona.
  • The Angels maintain that they don’t have interest in Lohse, but the door isn’t fully closed, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio reports (Twitterlinks). 
  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin doesn't want to surrender the 17th overall draft pick to obtain Lohse, Bowden reports. The Royals aren’t interested, Bowden notes.
  • Despite speculation that the Reds could get involved with Lohse, GM Walt Jocketty told reporters not to expect anything. When asked about the pitcher, Jocketty said, "Who? Why? We couldn't afford him," according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link).

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Boras: Lohse Won’t Wait For Draft

Kyle Lohse is tied to draft pick compensation, which limits interest from potential suitors to an extent. If the free agent right-hander waits until after the amateur draft takes place in June, teams will no longer have to surrender a draft pick to complete a deal. Even so, we shouldn't expect him to wait that long. Agent Scott Boras insists that Lohse won't be a free agent past the draft, Peter Gammons of MLB Network reports (on Twitter). 

"We have too many teams in play," Boras said.

The Rangers, Brewers and Orioles are among the teams that have recently been mentioned as potential suitors for Lohse. The Yankees and Indians don’t appear to be interested, however. Lohse declined the Cardinals’ qualifying offer after the season, which linked him to draft pick compensation. Teams must now surrender a top pick to complete a deal with the 34-year-old.


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NL Central Links: Taveras, Profar, Lohse, Tabata

Perhaps no player in the game brings as much focus and preparation to his at-bats as Joey Votto, ESPN's Buster Olney details in this must-read profile of the Reds first baseman (Insider subscription required).  "It's all about reframing the challenge," Votto said. "I've stopped caring about runs and RBIs. I care more about how high a percentage of productive at-bats I can have, how consistently tough and competitive I can be for the opposing pitcher. That's my goal every single time I go up there."

Here's the latest from around the NL Central…

  • A swap of Rangers shortstop Jurickson Profar for Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras "has not been discussed," one of the involved GMs tells Peter Gammons of the MLB Network (Twitter link).  Needless to say, such a deal would be a blockbuster; Profar and Taveras rank first and third, respectively, on Baseball America's preseason ranking of the sport's 100 best prospects.  Gammons wonders if Profar-for-Taveras would be on the table "if [Scott] Boras didn't represent [Elvis] Andrus," thus making it uncertain if Andrus would sign an extension to remain in Texas.
  • Few teams would benefit from signing Kyle Lohse as much as the Brewers, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel opines.  The Brewers have been adamant about going with younger pitchers and not spending big on veteran starters, but Haudricourt wonders if Lohse could be an option given how some of Milwaukee's current rotation members have struggled during Spring Training.
  • Mark Rogers, one of those struggling pitchers, is out of options and the Brewers are looking at several different ways to avoid losing him on waivers, Haudricourt writes.
  • Jose Tabata needs to produce to remain with the Pirates, as Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette outlines how Tabata is out of options and, if he doesn't make the roster, could be a good trade chip due to his team-friendly contract.  Click here for a full list of every player who is out of options this spring.
  • From earlier today, the Cardinals released Ronny Cedeno and we heard the Tigers weren't interested in Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol.

Orioles Likely To Stand Pat With Rotation

The Orioles recently discussed signing Kyle Lohse last week and are still scouting Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello, but team officials are currently satisfied with their pitching depth and probably won't make any major acquisitions, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports.

Though Lohse and Porcello would add some veteran (and postseason) experience to Baltimore's staff, Rosenthal notes that Baltimore already has ten pitchers battling for rotation spots.  These pitchers include such promising young arms as Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Brian Matusz, all of whom aren't expected to make the rotation but will be in the minors and (in Matusz's case) in the bullpen for reinforcements should a need arise.

The O's have toyed with the idea of acquiring a veteran pitcher throughout the winter and have been linked to such names as Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano, Ted Lilly and Javier Vazquez.  They have shown interest in Lohse as well, though only if Lohse and agent Scott Boras were willing to lower their asking price and accept a one-year deal.  I listed the Orioles as a darkhorse candidate in my examination of Lohse's market last month, and as Rosenthal notes, Baltimore could stomach losing their first round pick (23rd overall) in order to sign Lohse since the team received an extra pick (37th overall) in the competitive balance compensation round.

Likewise, Rosenthal speculates that the Orioles could answer the Tigers' need for bullpen help and a right-handed hitting outfielder by offering a trade package like Nolan Reimold and a reliever in exchange for Porcello.  Baltimore is one of many teams who have been scouting Porcello during Spring Training.  Porcello projects as the Tigers' fifth starter though he could be expendable if Detroit feels confident that Drew Smyly is ready for a rotation spot.


Quick Hits: Lohse, Crosby, Tejada

Kyle Lohse may not sign with a team until after the first-year player draft takes place in June, writes Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider sub. required).  Where might Lohse sign?  Bowden writes that the Rangers are the most likely destination if he signs before Opening Day, while the Brewers, OriolesAngels, and Reds are also candidates. Here are more links from around MLB…

  • Recently released infielder Bobby Crosby will look to continue his comeback with an MLB team, according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. The Brewers released Crosby yesterday after determining that his chances of making the Opening Day roster were slim, but agent Paul Cohen said his client aims to continue playing.
  • MLB owners are moving toward eliminating the pension plans of non-uniformed employees, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has opposed the idea, which will be put to the vote in May. Most owners now want to abolish the pension plan, Rubin reports. This would affect front office executives and scouts, among others.
  • Miguel Tejada has already asked about managing the Dominican Republic team at the next World Baseball Classic in 2017, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. "We'll see," said Moises Alou, the general manager of the Dominican team. Tejada, a veteran of 15 MLB seasons, last played at the MLB level with the 2011 Giants.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Rosenthal On Lohse, Royals, Porcello, Dodgers

Kyle Lohse is starting to get "antsy" about not yet having a contract, says Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Much of Rosenthal's item on Lohse focuses, however, on the possibility that the Cardinals won't get a compensation pick for Lohse, which would happen if Lohse doesn't sign with a new team before the draft in June. Rosenthal writes that Lohse's situation might encourage MLB to allow sign-and-trades, which would give teams who don't wish to lose draft choices more flexibility to sign players who have declined qualifying offers. Here's more from Rosenthal …

  • Rosenthal reports that the Royals are looking for an outfielder they can use in place of Jeff Francoeur against good right-handed pitching.
  • The Padres like Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello, Rosenthal notes, but are unwilling to part with a "top reliever." The Angels might make sense as a destination for Porcello, but the Angels are currently more concerned with finding a backup catcher and a relief pitcher.
  • The Dodgers still appear likely to deal either Chris Capuano or Aaron Harang.
  • Chris Snyder of the Nationals is almost certain to be dealt before the season begins, Rosenthal says.

NL East Links: Hamels, Young, Owings, Marlins

Here's the latest from around the NL East…

  • Cole Hamels wouldn't have signed an extension with the Phillies unless he thought the team would continue to contend, the southpaw tells CBS Sports' Scott Miller.  "I was very comfortable with making the decision [to re-sign] because I do know what they're going to do and what it takes to win," Hamels said.  "I've experienced it first hand.”
  • Chris Young and Micah Owings have both had impressive springs for the Nationals but will be hard-pressed to win jobs on the largely-settled Nats roster, Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com writes.  Owings needs regular at-bats to help in his transition from pitching to first base but the Nationals are deep at both first and in the outfield at both the Major League and Triple-A levels.  As for Young, he can opt out of his minor league deal with Washington if he isn't on the big league roster by March 24.
  • The Nationals' depth is also explored in the latest mailbag piece from MLB.com's Bill Ladson, as he notes that the club wants to hold onto Steve Lombardozzi and Danny Espinosa as backup options. 
  • Ladson also says the Nationals have no interest in Kyle Lohse unless one of their starting pitchers gets injured, and even then, they would only sign Lohse to a one-year deal.  As I noted in my recent examination of the Lohse market, the Nats are a real longshot to sign the veteran righty, and probably wouldn't be considered candidates at all were it not for the club's relationship with Scott Boras, Lohse's agent.  
  • The Marlins still have a lot of decisions to make about the composition of their 25- and 40-man rosters, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro writes.
  • Earlier today on MLBTR, Ben Nicholson-Smith compiled some Phillies notes and Tim Dierkes continued the Offseason In Review series with a look at the Mets.