Last week we learned that Kyle Lohse hasn’t received any offers as a free agent because of the draft pick compensation attached to signing him and hasn’t talked to the Cardinals since the season ended.
And today Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak made it even clearer that Lohse won’t be back in St. Louis, telling KFNS-590 radio “it doesn’t make much sense for us” to re-sign the 34-year-old right-hander.
Mozeliak went on to say that he doesn’t like to completely close a door, but it’s obvious that the Cardinals have little interest in re-signing Lohse given their strong rotation depth without him. That could change if Lohse is still without any offers next month and is willing to come back on the cheap, of course.
Lohse went 30-11 with a 3.11 ERA in 399 innings during the past two seasons, but no teams seem convinced that the Scott Boras client is worth forfeiting a draft pick to sign. He previously turned down a one-year, $13.3 million deal from the Cardinals in the form of a qualifying offer.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.