Kyle Lohse and Free Agency

The St. Louis Cardinals made an offer to Kyle Lohse this week of $13.3 million for year. So, I thought I would take a look at some of the highest paid pitchers in the NL and see how they compare. Then, I’ll look at last year’s stats to see if Lohse has a chance of getting way more than the $13.3 million.

The highest paid pitcher in the MAJOR LEAGUES is Johan Santana of the NY Mets. Santana was 6-9 this past season with an ERA of 4.85 and 117 innings pitched. He was paid $24 million last season. He struck out 111.

CC Sabathia was paid $23 million last season by the NY Yankees. He was 15-6 with a 3.38 ERA and 200 innings pitched. He struck out 197.

Cliff Lee was paid $21.5 million last season by the Philadelphia Phillies. He was 6-9 with a 3.16 ERA and 211 innings pitched. He struck out 207.

Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers was paid $20 million last season. He was 17-8 with a 2.64 ERA and 238 innings pitched. He struck out 239.

Roy Halladay of the Phillies was paid $20 million last season with a record of 11-8. His ERA was 4.49 and 156.1 innings pitched. He struck out 132.

Kyle Lohse of the St. Louis Cardinals was paid $12.1 million last season. His record was 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA and 211 innings pitched. He struck out 143.

So based on those numbers, Lohse had a better record than any of the higher paid pitchers and a lower ERA than any, except for Verlander. In fact, other than Verlander, Lohse had better numbers than any of the higher paid pitchers.

I can go into more details and numbers to prove that Lohse was one of the best pitchers last year but, I think I’ve made my point. So, the Cardinals offer was a mere ploy to get compensated if and when he signs elsewhere. His salary was half of what the highest paid pitcher received, but there were no comparison to the numbers.

I’m saying that to say this; the Cardinals will be making a mistake not making a stronger effort to sign Lohse. He was their ace last year and the Cards probably don’t make the playoffs if not for him. Apologies to Shelby Miller and some of the other Pitchers in waiting but, you have a proven commodity in Lohse. I like Miller, a lot and I think he pitched fantastic from the moment the Cards called him up. But, over an entire season could be a different story. I hope he’s up to the task because it looks for sure like Lohse will be pitching elsewhere in 2013.

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Tags: Kyle Lohse

  • Steve Mitchell

    The question I have is whether or not he can maintain this level of performance. He is 34 years old and will want a 4-5 year contract. Do we want to commit $80+ million to a pitcher that has only had a couple of good years? Right now we have the arms to cover his loss. He got paid $12.1 million this year so he’s not going to give a hometown discount-especially since his agent is Scott Borass…and, yes, the last “s” is intentional.

  • Todd Smith

    The Cards wouldn’t have accomplished what they did without Lohse – he had a very good year. But smart teams don’t pay players for what they did in the past, but on what they are likely to do over the next 3-4 yrs. The reality is, justified or not, Lohse will probably command at least $15mil/yr for 3-4 yrs, and those are conservative estimates. I don’t blame the Cards a bit if they don’t resign him. He’s not a shutdown pitcher. He may have 3-4 good yrs ahead, but he’s just as likely to do a Jeff Suppan-like Milwaukee stint. The Cards have plenty of young arms, it’s time to see what those young arms can do.