The 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.