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kyle lohseThe last remaining big name free agent – indeed, the last remaining free agent of just about any name – is set to sign a multiyear deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, per multiple reports. That name belongs to 34-year-old starter Kyle Lohse, whose free agency has been held down by equal parts draft pick compensation and super-high-Scott-Boras-y demands.

Details of the deal aren’t yet available, but I’d be shocked to see Lohse get the $14 to $15 million per year he’s been demanding. The Brewers will lose their first round pick for signing Lohse (17 overall), and the Cardinals will pick up a supplementary round selection.

The move dramatically improves the Brewers’ rotation, even if Lohse is due for some heavy regression next year. This makes the Cubs’ road to a surprise in the Central all the more difficult in 2013 (it was already 89 degrees uphill), and should help extend the Brewers’ run of competitiveness for another year or two. You want to talk about a team that’s built for the near-term and then set up for a deep, lengthy rebuild? It’s the Brewers in spades, with a weakened farm system and no first round pick in 2013.

UPDATE: Multiple reports saying that the deal is going to be three years and $33 million, which is about what I would have expected (right or wrong). Even if Lohse regresses a bit from his great performance last year, he’s going to be worth that contract. Not that it will necessarily look pretty in 2015.

  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

    Well, I guess hats off to them for realizing that they have no future, but their present is pretty mediocre too. This move maybe puts them in the discussion with the Pirates for the third-best team in the division.

    I guess in their situation you can argue for it, but mostly I’m just glad we’re not them.

  • Seth

    Sounds like it might be 3 years for $33 mill. Not confirmed yet.

  • Chris

    Is Kyle Lohse also an Olympic short-track speed skater?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Separated at birth:

      ohno

  • CubsFanBob

    Perhaps Lohse is going to help the Cubs reach the playoffs this year buy sucking for the brew crew. Cubs hitters will be knocking Lohse out of the box,,,mark it down Smokey.

    • Tommy

      Something tells me you’re right, Bob. New ballpark, new pitching coach, New team – back to his more realistic pre-contract year stats.

  • The Dude Abides

    I don’t understand why the Brewers signed this guy they aren’t going to make the playoffs they just spent 33 million for nothing and lost a draft pick. They don’t get it, maybe they plan on flipping him. They would have been better off just tanking the season…

    • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

      It sounds like the Brewers owner played a big part in this one. Doesn’t seem like a move that Doug Melvin wanted to make on his own at this stage of the game.

      • CubFan Paul

        An owner that wants a competitive major league team, even though all is lost …Parallel Fronts

        • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

          Eh, I wouldn’t say all is lost. Their team is mostly intact and they were injury ridden last year but still competed. I get the sense from what I’ve read that Melvin didn’t want an expensive veteran and just wanted to let the young guys pitch, hoping to repeat their success from last season (just a bit healthier).

          • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

            When I say competed, I mean that late stretch at the end. I was in the stands when they were officially eliminated, which was fun. :)

        • King Jeff

          We’ll see how it works out for them.

  • CM

    I remember the last Cardinal voodoo style pitcher that signed with the Brewers. I suspect the results will be not quite as bad but similar.

  • another JP

    What this move means is that the Brewers think they have enough offense to compete for a wild card spot this season and realize that an ineffective Yo means they’d have no starting pitching to depend on. Lohse will eat some innings and take a little pressure off their relief pitching, but the regression in his performance will bite Milwaukee big time. Even with this acquisition I don’t see them as being much better than a .500 team this season. BP had them @ 79, the Cards 84, Reds 92, so this only keeps them in the running for the post season. Glad to see other teams making this sort of move instead of the Cubs- managing draft picks is huge with the current CBA.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Rockies just signed Jon Garland. Thank you! Didn’t want him anyways.

  • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

    Of course you didn’t want garland…….unless the cubs signed him and then you’d be tickled pink

  • cubzforlife

    Didnt the brewers score a ton of runs last year? I dont see Dustys luck holding out much longer with his pitching staff. Just saying.

  • http://www.Chicagocubstalk.blogspot.com ChicagoCubsTalk

    Lohse isn’t a Cardinal anymore…therefore his magic is gone…I do not know what it is about players from the Cardinals but they just don’t perform the same when the leave.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Cardinal … smh

      • http://www.Chicagocubstalk.blogspot.com ChicagoCubsTalk

        St. Louis Cardinal..is that better?

  • Die hard

    If Braun not suspended they just locked up Division

    • King Jeff

      Did the Reds switch divisions too? I thought it was just the Astros. Lohse isn’t the difference maker between the Reds and Brewers, they need a lot more than him. I’d still rank the Brewers 4th in the division behind Cincy, StL, and the Pirates.

      • Cyranojoe

        Why are the Pirates getting so much love? Hasn’t their hot starts the past two years been brought about by a performance producing results ahead of their actual curve, leading to a wilting toward the end of the year? What have they done to change that for this year? My understanding was that the only move the Pirates made was to sign Russel Martin — not a bad move, IMHO, but not really a big deal.

        Or is it just that the Pirates are roughly as good as or better than the Brewers, and neither are that likely to compete to win the division? Eh, that makes sense.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

          I see the Pirates around something like 80 wins. They could sneak into the playoffs if everything broke right, but it doesn’t seem likely.

          Brewers about the same.

          • Cyranojoe

            OK, that jives with my completely uneducated feels about it. :)

            • fromthemitten

              Pirates made some good moves this offseason by bringing in Martin and bolstering their bullpen they have two potential aces in the minors that they could call up if they’re still contending. They already have a superstar in McCutchen and Alvarez could hit 35+ HRs this season if he continues to develop

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