Kyle Lohse has received zero offers as a free agent

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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.”

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.