Lohse not bothered by trade rumors
ST. LOUIS – Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse wasn't bothered by the recent trade rumors involving his name for one big reason: No deal can happen unless he approves it.
Lohse went 14-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 30 starts last season, leading all Cardinals starters in both wins and ERA. But despite the solid season, the right-hander found his name in trade talks during the Winter Meetings last month.
The Cardinals listened to offers for both Lohse and Jake Westbrook last month with reports suggesting the club might try to trade one of them in an attempt to open up a spot for St. Louis native Mark Buehrle.
Buehrle signed with the Miami Marlins and the trade rumors soon quieted.
"The thing you take out of it is it's good to be wanted," Lohse said. "If they are talking about you that means somebody wants you. I'm still here so obviously St. Louis still wants me, so you don't put too much stock into things you hear because probably 99 percent of them are just rumors.
"I'm not concerned about what someone says or thinks or anything like that. I know I have a job to do and I've been preparing for it and I plan on being here."
But with Roy Oswalt still on the open market and apparently wanting to pitch for the Cardinals, the club could still look to move Lohse or Westbrook and open up a spot to sign the veteran right-hander to upgrade their rotation.
Lohse is due $11.875 million this year, the final installment of a four-year, $41 million extension he signed in September 2008. The Cardinals would likely have to pick up most of his salary for a team to be interested in acquiring him.
General manager John Mozeliak phoned Lohse after the rumors began to swirl to make sure his pitcher was in the loop.
"The way he put it to me was that teams were inquiring and he's got to listen," Lohse said. "So that's all part of the business and I'm not going around with my feelings hurt that someone was talking about trading me. I could care less what people think. I'm here to do a job and try to be successful."
But even if the Cardinals wanted to trade Lohse, it's not as simple as finding a team and agreeing to a deal. Lohse holds a full no-trade clause, meaning he has to approve any deal before it happens.
"That's the other side of it, too," Lohse said. "I didn't want to say that, but obviously I'm happy here and it would take a lot to try and get me away from a World Series defending team. I plan on being here."
Pitchers and catchers report to the Cardinals' Spring Training complex in Jupiter, Fla., on Feb. 18.