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Royals sign Kyle Lohse to minor-league deal

16-year veteran starter tries to revive his career with seventh MLB team

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Texas Rangers Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals have signed veteran starter Kyle Lohse to a minor-league deal, the team announced.

Lohse is trying to make a comeback attempt after not having pitched in the majors since 2016. The right-hander made two starts with the Rangers in July of that year, allowing 13 earned runs (12.54 ERA) before being designated for assignment.

The 39-year-old Lohse has pitched 16 seasons in the big leagues, posting a career 147-143 record with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. He broke into the majors in 2001 with the Twins after being traded to them from the Cubs. Lohse spent five-and-a-half seasons with Minnesota before being dealt to the Reds in July 2006. Lohse didn’t last long in Cincinnati, as he was traded to the Phillies the next summer, and was then released by Philadelphia after the season.

In 2008, Lohse latched on with the Cardinals and enjoyed the best years of his career statistically. He won 14 or more games in three of his five seasons, including a career-best 16-3 campaign in 2012 in which he posted a 2.86 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 211 innings pitched. He also finished seventh in the NL Cy Young voting in 2012 and helped the Cardinals win the World Series in 2011.

Lohse’s play in St. Louis earned him a three-year, $33 million contract with the Brewers after he was granted free agency in 2012. Lohse was able to give the Brewers two solid seasons, going 24-19 and pitching over 198 innings in his first two years, but then had a massive dropoff in the third year (5-13, 5.85 ERA) that led to his release.