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.
The Dodgers have pulled off their first blockbuster trade of the offseason, sending Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson, Adrian Gonzalez and cash considerations to the Braves for Matt Kemp, per announcements from both teams. The Braves are set to designate Gonzalez for assignment on Monday, making him a free agent.
Kemp, 33, had a down year with the Braves in 2017, hitting a career-low -0.5 fWAR in 115 games with the club. At the plate, he slashed a modest .276/.318/.463 with 19 home runs and a .781 OPS through 467 plate appearances, but was hampered by a nagging left hamstring strain through most of the season. This will be his 10th campaign with the Dodgers.
Whether or not Kemp can rebound during his second stint in Los Angeles is almost beside the point, however. The deal is effectively a salary dump to end all salary dumps. Offloading multiple one-year contracts for McCarthy, Kazmir and Gonzalez should bring the Dodgers back under the $197 million luxury tax threshold and position them to make a run at some of the big fish in next year’s free agent pool. It’s also worth noting that they may not keep Kemp around for long — per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the club appears as likely to flip the veteran outfielder as they are to use him. As for the Braves, they not only rid themselves of the $43 million due Kemp through 2020, but added some rotation and infield depth with McCarthy and Culberson and can now give top prospect Ronald Acuna a legitimate tryout in left field.