Is Kyle Lohse an option for the Yankees?

This morning, Wally Matthews of ESPN NY, wrote that Kyle Lohse could be an option for the Yankees with Phil Hughes‘ Opening Day availability up in the air. Hughes has a bulging disc in his back and will be out at least two weeks which is not a good start to his Spring Training no matter what the Yankees might say.

Lohse, who played with the St. Louis Cardinals last season, finished his 2012 with a 16-3 record and a 2.86 ERA. As good as that may sound, there are a few factors in play. Lohse is a Scott Boras client, is 34-years-old and as we’ve seen this offseason, the Yankees aren’t too keen on signing pitchers – especially those who are of an “advanced” age – to anything other than a one-year deal.

Another factor, as Matthews says, is Hughes’ response to treatment. Maybe he’ll respond well and all of this will be for naught. But on the other hand, Hughes has now had back issues three seasons in a row which is problematic for anyone, let alone a starting pitcher in the Majors.

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money, co-host of the It's About The Money, Stupid podcast and is a monthly contributor to ESPN's SweetSpot Blog. She is a former contributor at Aerys Sports and High Heat Stats. She has contributed to group projects at Baseball: Past And Present and the Hall of Stats. Her work has appeared in USA Today's Sports Weekly and most recently, she wrote four pieces for Derek Jeter: Celebrating the Yankees' Captain Clutch, a magazine printed by i5 Publishing.

10 thoughts on “Is Kyle Lohse an option for the Yankees?

  1. chris

    No. Just no. Aside from his age and NL only numbers, he has a draft pick attached to him. If the Yanks sign him to a multi-year deal that is money that can't go to Cano, et al and they lose a draft pick. They have 5 starters right now and can always go dumpster diving for a 5th man/mop-up at any point. Hughes is slotted in the 4 spot so any missed time by him is not as big a deal as to Kuroda or CC. If this year turns out poorly so be it. The Yanks need to look to the future and not placate bandwagon fans that expect a winner every year (for those of us that rooted for the Yanks in the bad years this is an easy concept). 2015 has a lot of promise from the farm and free agency when the Cap resets.

    • Stacey Gotsulias

      I know. Those draft picks are a pesky thing.

  2. Sherm

    Its a no-brainer to me if they can get him on a one-year deal. Nova becomes the starting pitching depth they are lacking and Phelps can go to the bullpen where I believe he will ultimately land. If this team is going to make the playoffs this year, it will be because of the strength of its pitching. Signing Lohse will help ensure that the pitching remains the team's strength all season despite the age of its second and third starters.

    As for the pick, who cares? You're not talking about the rebuilding Mets giving up the 11th pick for Bourn. You're talking about the win now Yankees giving up a late first round pick after being awarded compensation picks for Swisher and Soriano. The sandwich picks afford them the luxury of forfeiting the late first rounder.

    • chris

      Signing a guy to a 1 year deal AND giving up a pick is a huge waste. You only do that on a multi year deal. And the pick matters a lot. The more you have the more you can get in talent and you can package picks in a trade. You can't package garbage in a trade and get a good return. The "win now" mentality is what is killing the Yanks right now. It is what killed the Yanks when George ran the team prior to his banishment (which resulted in Gene Michaels stocking the farm with Andy, Mo, Jeter, Bernie, Alfonso Soriano, Posada etc that resulted in a bunch of WS rings).

      • Sherm

        But you can conceivably get that pick back by making Lohse a qualifying offer next year. And the reality is that you can never have enough pitching, especially when you have the oldest and the fourth oldest starters in baseball in your rotation and you let 95 homeruns from last year's team walk away as free agents.

        In any event, I haven't seen the information regarding the bonus money which the Yanks would lose by signing Lohse, which is more important than losing the pick itself. So, my opinion might be a tad premature.

      • skeaney

        Statistically the odds of that pick ever being anywhere near Lohse in ability are extremely low. Most picks do not pan out.

        As for Lohse, one year deal sure but only after fully finding out what is going on with Hughes.

  3. uyf1950

    Don't see it. Boras isn't going to go for a 1 year deal. And I don't see the Yankees willing to give up a draft pick in any case.

  4. Nettles9

    Boras settled for a one year deal for Edwin Jackson last season. He may have no choice but to do the same for Lohse this year.

    • Sherm

      Exactly. Spring training games start this week, and Lohse is home waiting for his phone to ring. Who is going to give him a long-term deal now?

  5. jay_robertson

    With the draft pick in the picture, Scotty may HAVE to "settle" for a one year contract.

    Tho I have heard that Javy wants to return to the majors.

Comments are closed.