Kyle Lohse’s market has been crushed by having draft pick compensation attached to his free agency and as recently as three weeks ago he hadn’t received a single offer despite coming off back-to-back career-years.
Lohse and Michael Bourn are the only two unsigned free agents who turned down $13.3 million qualifying offers from their original teams, but yesterday Brewers owner Mark Attanasio revealed that Milwaukee could be a landing spot for Lohse if his price tag drops low enough due to the lack of interested teams:
I think you have to look at the whole picture. We’ve given up picks before, and when we got CC [Sabathia] and we got Zack [Greinke], we gave up more than draft compensation–we gave up ready-to-go young players. This season, we’re mindful of the fact that if we do add some pieces, we may have to give up some young players. There’s always a chance. Again, it’s a function of size of contract, length of contract. Kyle had a phenomenal two seasons the last two seasons. We just have to see if that fits in our overall scheme.
Milwaukee picks 17th in the first round and to give that up in order to sign a 34-year-old pitcher is a steep price even without factoring in how much money Lohse would actually get, but Attanasio noted that guys like Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, and Rickie Weeks were all top-10 picks. Of course, the most recent Brewers first-round pick to make the majors was Brett Lawrie, who they got 16th overall in 2008 and traded to the Blue Jays for Shaun Marcum.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.