During a radio interview yesterday Kyle Lohse talked about how teams having to forfeit a first-round draft pick to sign him has slowed his free agent market considerably and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch takes it one step further by reporting that Lohse has yet to receive a single offer.
Well, except for the qualifying offer he returned down from the Cardinals to become a free agent in the first place, that is. Lohse could have accepted that and locked himself into a one-year, $13.3 million deal for 2013, but the 34-year-old right-hander obviously had his sights on a much bigger deal following back-to-back career-years in which he went 30-11 with a 3.11 ERA in 399 innings.
“It’s not exactly the situation I envisioned, not at all,” Lohse told Goold. “It hasn’t been exactly a free market because I’m tied to a draft pick and other guys in my class aren’t. That comes at a price. You can’t compare this to anything in the past because it hasn’t been like this.”
Goold writes that “Lohse doesn’t doubt a fair contract will arrive, it just may take an inventive solution to make a fit.” And when he does sign you can bet it’ll be for significantly less than he would have gotten without being tied to the draft pick compensation. Lohse revealed yesterday that he hasn’t talked to the Cardinals in months, so don’t expect a return to St. Louis to be that “inventive solution.”
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.