The Cardinals made free agent starter Kyle Lohse a qualifying offer by Friday’s deadline, mostly done as a requirement to receive an extra draft pick should he sign elsewhere.
General manager John Mozeliak recently said it would be unlikely the club would resign Lohse given what he will likely command in the free agent market this winter. But by making him the one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer, they will be guaranteed a compensation draft pick which will come somewhere between the first and second rounds.
Lohse will likely seek a four or five year deal worth at least $15 million per season. He went 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 2012, the final year of a four-year, $41 million contract with the Cardinals. The Cardinals have a plethora of young pitchers ready to step into the rotation and will likely allow Lohse to cash in on the open market.
There’s always a chance Lohse could accept the one-year offer, which would be binding. But given what he will likely get this winter from teams such as the Yankees, Angels, Nationals, Red Sox and others, it seems unlikely he will accept the offer. Per MLB rules, Lohse has seven days to accept or decline the Cardinals’ offer.
Mozeliak confirmed Lohse’s offer Friday afternoon. He also confirmed that the club did not make a qualifying offer to Lance Berkman, who is mulling retirement but wouldn’t have much of an opportunity for playing time next year in St. Louis. —