Kyle Lohse passed his physical with the Brewers earlier this evening, making his new three-year contract official. The deal is reportedly worth $33 million and includes $1 million in performance bonuses.
As a result of the signing, the Brewers will surrender their first-round draft pick (No. 17 overall) in this year’s First-Year Player Draft and the accompanying draft pool money. Meanwhile, Lohse’s former team, the Cardinals, will receive the No. 28 overall pick in June’s draft as compensation.
According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, Lohse is scheduled to throw a bullpen session in Brewers’ camp tomorrow and could be ready to pitch in a game as soon as Wednesday or Thursday. The veteran right-hander has been keeping in shape by throwing simulated games, so despite the long wait to find a new home, it’s possible that he’ll be ready to join Milwaukee’s rotation when the season starts. Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada are clear locks for the rotation, so Chris Narveson, Mike Fiers or Wily Peralta will get the boot in order to make room for Lohse.
Lohse, 34, posted a 2.86 ERA and 143/48 K/BB ratio over 211 innings with St. Louis last season. He had a 3.39 ERA in 30 starts in 2011.
UPDATE: Adam McCalvy of MLB.com has passed along the contract details. Lohse will earn just $4 million this season while he’ll get $7 million in deferred payments from 2016-2018. He’ll make $11 million in 2014 and 2015.
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.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.