It appears that the final big name free agent is finally off the market, as Kyle Lohse has apparently agreed to a three-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers worth $33 million. Milwaukee was tied to Lohse from day one of free agency, and the fact that they waited until this later in the offseaosn to get the deal done with him shows just how hesitant the team was to give up the 17th overall pick in this June's draft. As a result of the signing, the Cardinals will recieve a sandwich round pick as compensation (as if they needed any more top tier prospects).
I understand the reasoning behind the Brewers inking Lohse, but I don't really agree with it. Milwaukee's farm system is wretched, and the organization really could have used the first round pick they relinquished with the signing. Milwaukee is also placing little faith in Wily Peralta and Mark Rogers after both struggled tremendously this spring, All of the members of the Brewers rotation are under team control through 2014, with ace Yovani Gallardo hitting free agency after that season.
If Milwaukee is betting on Lohse repeating his 2012 career year at all over his age 34 to 36 seasons, they're going to likely be disappointed. He posted a career-best walk rate and nearly a career-best strikeout rate, along with a very low BABIP and a high strand rate. I find it difficult to believe that Lohse is going to outperform Peralta over the life of this contract, and that Lohse is going to help the Brewers enough to be a contender. Before this signing, the Brewers were the third-best team in the NL Central. After this signing, they're still the third-best team in the NL Central, but now they're missing a draft pick and took on unnecessary financial commitments over the next three seasons.