$4.2 million for Kyle Lohse — and that’s not the worst part

Aaron Harang

I’ve been lukewarm on Reds GM Wayne Krivsky. His trade of Felipe Lopez and Austin Kearns for the injured Gary Majewski and a couple of minor league arms (though Bill Bray may work out) was dubious at best, though judging from the course of the season, it didn’t hurt much.

One move that seemed harmless at the time, but may cost the team in the long run, was trading a nobody prospect for a DFA’d Kyle Lohse. This year, the Reds will pay Lohse $4.2 million for his (shitty) services this year. Yes, $4.2 million for a pitcher who has struggled to post league average numbers over his career.

The worst part, however, is yet to come:

The Reds signed Kyle Lohse to a one-year, $4.2 million deal on Tuesday, and exchanged arbitration figures with Aaron Harang. Harang and his agents asked for $5.5 million and the Reds offered $4.25.

Excuse me? The Reds are offering Aaron Harang $50,000 more than Lohse is making? Gee, Wayne, why don’t you save yourself the arbitration hearing and just give him the $5.5 million he’s requesting?

Harang has pitched well over 200 innings for the past two years, posting ERA+ figures of 116 and 128, respectively. He also demonstrated a sharp rise in strikeout rate and K/BB ratio. Simply put, Harang has demonstrated he’s a front of the rotation starter. Kyle Lohse has demonstrated that he’s a fringe starter, and will likely be relegated to full-time bullpen duty by the end of 2007. Yet, the Reds are going to try to convince a judge that Harang is worth a mere $50,000 more than Lohse.

Of course, this debacle can’t end without getting worse:

Krivsky said the team would “explore” signing Harang to a long-term deal. On Tuesday, Harang said he hadn’t heard any offers from the Reds for a long-term deal, but he’d certainly be open to staying in Cincinnati.

“In any situation a player’s going to be interested if a team is interested in locking a player up,” Harang said Tuesday from his California home. “If they want to discuss it, we definitely want to.”

Have you seen the market for starters? Is Krivsky aware that Gil Meche got $55 million? Is he also aware that Harang is a lot fuckin’ better than Meche?

Look, Harang’s agent has submitted a figure of $5.5 million for Harang’s 2007 contract, and he’ll surely win. Why not at least offer the dude $25 million over three years? That would avoid arbitration next year and buy out his first year of free agency, all at the reasonable price of $8.33 million per year. I’m not saying Harang would accept, but for a starter like him, you at least have to make the effort.

10 Responses to “$4.2 million for Kyle Lohse — and that’s not the worst part”

  1. 1 Shawn Bradley Guy January 18, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    Lohse is garbage…has temper tantrums out on the mound and will blatantly throw teammates under the bus if HE is not performing up to HIS standards. I’m from Minneapolis…I’d like to see Wayne succeed, but getting these Minnesota Twin retreads (Guardado, Lohse, Castro) will not benefit the Reds organization.

  2. 2 larry January 18, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    I don’t totally agree with you on Lohse. While he is certainly no Harang, he was extremely unhittable in several games last year, and I think he has potential to improve.

  3. 3 Del Brennan January 18, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Larry, glad I got a contrary opinion in there. However, at 28, I’m not sure how much improving he can do. Not many pitchers go from barely league average to “worth $4.2 million” at his age.

  4. 4 Juan January 18, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    You make too much sense!
    GM fell in love with Lohse when GM was with Minnesota. Just a case of one guy taking care of his boy.
    Lohse will be the most highly paid AAA ball starter this year.

  5. 5 adam January 18, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    Here is a great reenactment of a Lohse temper tantrum.

  6. 6 Kasey Skala January 18, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Actually I think Loshe may win 1 game this year. Another example of my Minnesota Twins building a pitcher up and letting go before they begin to fall.

  7. 7 Greenfield January 19, 2007 at 4:27 am

    Pitching against the Pirates and at the one time anemic Cardinals lineup will make anyone, including Jimmy Volmer from southpark, look unhittable. Lohse is awful.

  8. 8 Mike White January 19, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    I agree with not giving Harang his money relative to Kyle Lohse, and I agree that Lohse is not worth 4.2 million/year, but you have to believe that he’ll pitch better in the positively inferior NL. It’s much easier to pitch in the NL Central (where the Cards are the only true offensive threat) than in the AL Central (where 4 out of 5 teams will play tough).

  1. 1 ' + title + ' - ' + basename(imgurl) + '(' + w + 'x' + h +') Trackback on March 17, 2008 at 2:41 pm

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January 2007

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