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A big loss for Lohse on free agent market

By February 13, 2013

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Scott Boras' clients are known for being patient while a market forms for his free agent. But in the case of Kyle Lohse this offseason, it hardly looks like a virtue.

Spring training is open in Arizona and Florida and Lohse, who went 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA for the National League runner-up St. Louis Cardinals last season, is still unemployed. It was a career season for the 34-year righty, and that could be the biggest problem.

There's probably nowhere to go but down, which means every team is worried about overpaying for an aging pitcher. And many teams would have to forfeit a first-round draft pick for him as well, and Lohse probably isn't worth giving up a first-rounder for perhaps anybody.

ESPN's Buster Olney broke down the potential suitors for Lohse on Wednesday, and it's pretty bleak. Most of the contenders have their rotations set and their budgets spent.

The Cardinals could bring him back to take the spot of Chris Carpenter, whose career is in jeopardy because of a circulation issue in his arm. The Angels? They could probably use him, but have spent their money on Josh Hamilton and their lineup. The Nationals could kick the tires a bit as they go for a championship. The Indians seem to be spending money and have a terrible starting rotation, but he's probably still out of their price range.

Lohse might just have to take a one-year deal somewhere -- probably on a team that loses a starter in spring training workouts in the next week or two -- and prove his 2012 wasn't a fluke.

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