2:58pm: FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets that Lohse stands to make $800K if he makes the club’s MLB roster, with $700K in incentives also available.
9:04am: The Royals have announced the signing of right-hander Kyle Lohse to a minors deal. Lohse hasn’t pitched at the big-league level since 2016.
Signing the 39-year-old Lohse even to a minors pact represents something of a desperation move for the pitching-thin Royals, who currently have Eric Skoglund penciled in as their fifth starter and watched Danny Duffy struggle mightily on opening day. While Lohse did make two starts for the Rangers in 2016, he struck out just three batters in 9 1/3 innings and allowed 13 earned runs en route to being designated for assignment in late July. Prior to that, Lohse’s last full season in the majors came with the Brewers in 2015, when he pitched 152 1/3 innings of 5.85 ERA baseball.
Still, Lohse will seemingly the the club’s second-best reserve option at Triple-A behind Clay Buchholz; those two are the only other starters in the Royals organization beyond the team’s starting five who have any significant MLB experience to speak of. Other starters on the club’s 40-man roster include Heath Fillmyer (acquired in an offseason trade with the Athletics), along with Scott Barlow, Miguel Almonte and Trevor Oaks. Bearing this in mind, there’s a very real chance that Lohse could crack the roster at some point this season.