Originally written on WHYGAVS?  |  Last updated 11/18/14
St_louis_cardinals_c064
When word leaked out yesterday that the Brewers had come to a three-year/$33 million agreement with Kyle Lohse, a lot of Pirate fans immediately started wondering why the Pirates didn't make more of a push for Lohse given their current rotation woes. There are a lot of fairly straightforward answers to this question: Lohse is due for some regression and is much more likely to be a ~3.50 ERA/2 WAR guy in 2013 than the One question that I thought was interesting, though, was this: why can the Pirates trade a draft pick for Gaby Sanchez (under the new CBA the picks from the ******** competitive balance lottery are tradeable and the Pirates swapped the 35th overall pick in next year's draft along with Gorkys Hernandez for Gaby Sanchez) but not Kyle Lohse? The answer is complicated, but it's also interesting and worth diving into.  The first step is to note that the gap between Sanchez and Lohse might not be as big as you think. If you go to their Fangraphs pages and look at projections (Lohse, Sanchez), you'll see Sanchez pegged as ~1 win player and Lohse pegged as ~2-3 win player. If you like Sanchez's defense (UZR does, DRS does not; I tend to default to DRS), Sanchez was a 2-3 win player in both 2010 and 2011, though, and it's not impossible to see him getting back there in 2013, especially if his hot spring training is an indication that he's fixed whatever was wrong with his swing last year and, say, Garrett Jones gets traded or plays right field a lot because Jose Tabata and Travis Snider both suck. You could say the same of Lohse, of course, but Miller Park is a pretty bad fit for a flyball pitcher. I'll freely admit that it's wishcasting on my part to hope that Sanchez is anything more than a competent platoon player and pinch-hitter, and so let's peg the difference between Sanchez and Lohse at one win. That's a real difference, but it's not as big as the 3-4 win gap between them in 2012.  The second step is to look at 14th overall picks vs. 35th overall picks. It's a pretty striking gap. There have been 48 MLB drafts, which means that 48 players have been taken 14th overall and 48 players have been taken 35th overall. 32 of the #14 picks have made the big leagues, and quite a few of them have turned into decent players. The list includes Jason Heyward, Aaron Hicks (a Top 100 prospect in the Twins' system who got as high as #14 in the BA rankings before losing some luster in recent years), Billy Butler, and the Pirates' own Travis Snider in recent years. Historically there's also Derrek Lee, Jason Varitek, Cliff Floyd, and Tino Martinez, all of whom had careers of at least 20 WAR. At #35, only 26 of 48 have made the big leagues. There are no recent standouts picked at #35, and only Matt Davidson of the Diamondbacks is currently on Top 100 lists. Historically, both Johnny Damon and Mark Langston were picked 35th and they're better than any of the players listed as 14th picks, but after them only Aaron Rowand (18.9 WAR) even tops 10 career wins above replacement. In other words, if you pick 35th and get Gaby Sanchez out of that pick, you're probably lucky.  All of this doesn't even take into account the effect that having two first round picks has on financial flexibility in the new draft. Last year, the Pirates sort of took a blind shot into the dark when Mark Appel fell into their laps with the eighth pick. They pretty seriously had now way of knowing how the process would pan out or how much money needed to be saved to sign Appel. I still think it was a good risk to take, but it obviously didn't work out in their favor. If something similar happens this year and a top five talent falls to #9, the 14th pick gives them some financial wiggle room. If it doesn't, well, the Pirates still have two first round picks.  The final argument is even more straightforward: as it stands right now it seems like the Pirates were kind of dumb to trade even the 35th pick in the draft for Gaby Sanchez. I'm happy they didn't compound their mistake by giving away the 14th pick, too.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Australian cricket player dies from head injuries

Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Josh Gordon felt alienated by some in Browns organization

Jerry Jones: I'm a big admirer of Robert Griffin III

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.