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Red Sox rumors: Boston 'highly unlikely' to sign Kyle Lohse

While they could afford it, the Red Sox are "highly unlikely" to sign free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse.

Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

While the Boston Red Sox have been tied to free agent Kyle Lohse this offseason, Rob Bradford of reports that it's "highly unlikely" for the team to sign the right-hander.

Bradford notes that the Red Sox showed interest in Lohse earlier this winter, but that was before Boston signed free agent right-hander Ryan Dempster.

Lohse does provide the strike-throwing skill set the Red Sox are prioritizing, and his contractual demands wouldn't hamstring the club. Still, surrendering a first-round draft pick for what would be a relatively short-term acquisition "just doesn't add up for the Red Sox," says Bradford.

Lohse showed perfect timing in turning in an impressive performance last season just before hitting the open market. The 34-year-old maintained a 2.86 ERA over 33 starts with 3.76 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Over 12 seasons in the majors, the right-hander owns a career ERA of 4.45, but he's posted a mark of 3.90 from 2008-12 with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Related: Kyle Lohse doesn't make enough sense for Cardinals

Despite garnering Cy Young consideration last season, Lohse's market has been hampered by his declined qualifying offer. Clubs have been hesitant to hand over a high draft pick, leaving free agents like Lohse and Michael Bourn without contracts.

At this point, Boston boasts a projected rotation that includes Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Felix Doubront and Dempster. They have Franklin Morales providing depth, and there are several young arms waiting in the wings, including Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, Matt Barnes and Henry Owens.