(BaseballStL) -- Kyle Lohse was suppose to be one of the hot properties in this year’s free agent market. He was one of the top pitchers in the National League in 2012 with a record of 16-3 and a 2.86 ERA. Those are top of the rotation type numbers. He would have been a legitimate Cy Young award candidate if the bullpen had closed out a few more of his quality starts.
But Lohse still has not found a new home. He said today on our radio show on KFNS that one of the reasons for that is the new free agent rule in baseball.
Major League baseball did away with ranking players as Type-A or Type-B free agents. Now there’s only one class of free agent. If a team offers a player a one year contract worth $13.3 million, or the average salary of the top 125 free agents from the previous year, they are awarded a first round draft pick by the other team that signs the free agent. The Cardinals made that tender offer to Lohse, and the veteran pitcher says other teams are reluctant to sign him and give up the draft pick. “Obviously it’s been a little slow, a little slower than anticipated,” Lohse told us this morning on the ITD Morning After show. “I think the whole first-round draft pick thing is slowing things down. It’s going to eventually work itself out. It’s not like I’m going to be out of baseball. Something will happen here down the road.”
Lohse told me he was disappointed that the Cardinals didn’t make more of an effort to re-sign him after the terrific season he had in 2012. Lohse said the Cardinals didn’t even bother to talk to him about a new contract, and that he didn’t realize he wasn’t in the team’s future plans until they re-signed Jake Westbrook to a new deal.
Lohse is understandably frustrated by his current situation. He had hoped to be signed to a three or four year deal with another club by now. But he’s keeping things in perspective. “There are different expectations I had that might not come through, but the bottom line is I’m lucky to be in the situation that I’m in and paid a lot to do it,” Lohse said. “It could be a lot worse, I’m not too worried about my expecations early in the offseason not being met.”
Lohse will get a new contract at some point. For his sake, I hope he goes to a contender. He was a good soldier for the Cardinals and an outstanding person. He told me he has begun his throwing program and his arm feels great. He’ll be 34 next season and believes he can pitch another four seasons at least.