Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Phillies don't want Lohse

It's a surprise to most people around baseball that former Phillie Kyle Lohse still hasn't signed on with a team. Lohse was originally seeking a five year contract that would pay him 10 million a year, which was way too much for a pitcher coming off a 9-12 season where he posted a 4.62 ERA. Lohse has since come down from his demands of a multi-year contract, and is currently seeking a one year deal worth 4 million. According to Phillies Assistant GM Mike Arbuckle, the Phillies aren't interested in Lohse even at that seemingly bargain price.

Lohse is the definition of a league average pitcher, and he hasn't posted a sub 4.00 ERA in his career, but signing him to a one year deal for 4 million seems like a steal. Lohse is realizing that the season is creeping up on him, and he needs to find a team fast. If he can't get his mega deal this offseason, then he is willing to sign for cheap, have a productive season, and try again for a big contract.

So why aren't the Phillies interested? 4 million is a small price to pay for a little piece of mind at the back end of the rotation. The Phillies are set in the first four spots in their rotation, but battling for the number 5 spot are Adam Eaton, J.D. Durbin and Chad Durbin. None of those guys gives the Phillies much of a chance to win, so why wouldn't they bring in Lohse for insurance? Maybe the Phillies are hoping that recently signed Kris Benson can eventually be the number 5 starter, but that wouldn't be for at least a month or two into the season. Can they really rely on Eaton until then?

Kyle Lohse would be an upgrade over anything the Phillies have at the back end of their rotation, and for 4 million dollars, he seems like cheap insurance. I know the Phillies have their self-imposed spending limit, but for a team that wants to win it all right now, why wouldn't they sign this guy? If anything, we need to keep him away from the Mets, who are desperately seeking a fifth starter. We know they would be willing to spend far more than 4 million for another pitcher. It's tough to be a fan of the only team in baseball with a salary cap.

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