Spring training is in full swing, but Kyle Lohse still doesn't have a home. The former St. Louis Cardinals righty is still wandering the empty streets of free agency looking for vacancy signs. All the while, his agent, Scott Boras, is trying to convince teams that giving up a first round pick and a big contract is a worthwhile move. He hasn't quite convinced the Rangers, but the club and Boras have kept an open line of communication says Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Despite the open line of communication and the fact that the Rangers haven't closed the door on Lohse, fans of the Rangers need not get excited/angry/nervous/etc just yet. Jon Daniels has said there's not much going on right now.
"We don't have any active talks right now," Daniels said.
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Lohse was offered a one-year $13.3 million qualifying offer by the St. Louis Cardinals prior to him hitting free agency. He rejected this offer thus tying any signing team to giving up a first round pick (unless that club picks in the first ten). Beyond the draft pick compensation, any club that signs Lohse will either have to give him a richer one-year deal, or they will have to give him a multi-year contract. Although Michael Bourn, who was in a similar predicament, signed for less than many predicted, he was given a long-term deal.
Lohse went 16-3 with a shining 2.86 ERA in 33 starts for the Cardinals last season. But can he duplicate that performance? Lohse stepped up when the club needed him to. The Cardinals were faced with being without their ace, Chris Carpenter, due to injury, and with a recovering Adam Wainwright taking over ace duties. Lohse responded well to the situation. However, he has not shown himself capable of consistent results like last season.
In his career, spanning 12 years and 109 starts, Lohse has a 4.45 ERA. That may be far more indicative of the type of pitcher Lohse is. He's been decent, but not great. One year of greatness may not be enough for a team to give up a draft pick and a long-term deal. The Rangers might be interested, but are they that interested?