Kyle Lohse is hitting the open market coming off back-to-back career-years and today Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak admitted that re-signing the free agent right-hander is “probably unlikely.”
Some of that no doubt has to do with Lohse being in line for a big contract, but even if he were somewhat affordable the Cardinals have no shortage of rotation options with prospects Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal joining holdovers Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, Jake Westbrook, Lance Lynn, and Joe Kelly. And that’s not even counting Jaime Garcia, whose status is uncertain because of shoulder problems.
Lohse has thrown 400 innings with a 3.13 ERA during the past two seasons, so counting on anyone duplicating that performance stepping into his rotation spot would be silly. Of course, counting on Lohse to duplicate that performance in 2013 and beyond might be just as silly and in the meantime the Cardinals can get younger and cheaper.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.