Winners and Losers of Kyle Lohse Signing with the Milwaukee Brewers

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2013

Winners and Losers of Kyle Lohse Signing with the Milwaukee Brewers

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    With Opening Day only a week away, the Milwaukee Brewers made a strong move to solidify their starting rotation—and have replaced the void left when they traded Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels last year—by signing free-agent right-hander Kyle Lohse.

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman broke the news, while Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel filled in the contract details:

    Lohse to sign with brewers

    — Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) March 25, 2013

    Beyond the $33 million over 3 years for Lohse, he can earn another $1 million over the contract in performance bonuses.

    — Tom (@Haudricourt) March 25, 2013

    Lohse, 34, finished seventh in the National League Cy Young Award voting last season while with the St. Louis Cardinals, going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over 211 innings of work.

    This is no small addition. Lohse is a game-changer, and his impact will be felt far beyond Milwaukee's city lines.

    Here's a look at who—and what—will be affected the most.

Winner: Kyle Lohse

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    After the season that Kyle Lohse had for the St. Louis Cardinals last year, chances are that he found himself often staring off into the distance this past winter, wondering what else he had to do to get a multiyear offer from a major league team.

    Not only does Lohse get the multiyear deal he sought from a contender, but he no longer has to worry about facing Milwaukee's formidable lineup, which hit him hard when he'd pay a visit to Miller Park.

    In nine games (eight starts) in his new home park, Lohse allowed 34 earned runs and 56 hits—seven home runs—over 44 innings of work.

    With that lineup now supporting him, you have to like Lohse's chances of continuing his recent success as a member of the Brewers.

Loser: St. Louis Cardinals

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    Even after Chris Carpenter's potentially career-ending injury, you can't fault the St. Louis Cardinals for not bringing Kyle Lohse back into the fold.

    The team has a number of young arms that it wants to see develop at the major league level, and while keeping Lohse certainly would have helped the team in its pursuit of another postseason berth, it would have been the wrong move for the long-term success of the team.

    That said, Lohse landing with one of the Cardinals' prime competitors in the NL Central stings. Badly.

    Not only does Lohse immediately make the Brewers a stronger contender than the team was yesterday, but Lohse is very comfortable pitching in Busch Stadium. In 73 career starts at the Cardinals' home park, he's gone 30-17 with a 3.40 ERA and 1.19 WHIP.

    Facing the Brewers, a team that St. Louis beat nine times in 15 games last year, just got more difficult, not only for the Cardinals, but the rest of baseball.

Winner: Scott Boras

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    Call him what you will, but Scott Boras always gets the best possible deal for his clients, no matter how long it takes.

    That statement is only exemplified by Kyle Lohse's signing, and it only strengthens Boras' grip on the title as the BAIP—Best Agent in Baseball.

    Going forward, if a Boras client finds himself in a similar situation as Lohse did—a talented player that teams are wary of surrendering a first-round pick to sign—Boras can merely point to Lohse, easing the player's concerns and fears.

    In the game of chicken that is contract negotiations, someone always blinks first.

    Once again, Boras proves that it's never him.

Loser: Wily Peralta

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    Named Milwaukee's top prospect by both Baseball America and MLB.com, Wily Peralta had a spot in the Brewers starting rotation, something manager Ron Roenicke confirmed to reporters last week.

    Despite both Peralta and fellow Brewers starter Mike Fiers sporting spring training ERAs over 5.00, it will likely be Peralta, not Fiers, finding himself at Triple-A Nashville to start the season.

    While this could be the best thing for Peralta's development—the 23-year-old struggled a bit last year, pitching to a 4.69 ERA and 1.58 WHIP over 28 starts at the minor league's highest level—it doesn't take the sting away.

    In the span of 24 hours, Peralta has likely gone from being a major league starter back to being a minor league prospect.

    Both are nice titles to have, but the latter doesn't have the ring of the former.

Winner: Yovani Gallardo

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    Milwaukee's unquestioned ace, Yovani Gallardo, was looking at a 2013 season where he found himself under more pressure to succeed than ever before.

    While Milwaukee's starting rotation after Gallardo—Marco Estrada, Chris Narveson, Fiers and Peralta—was talented, the group, as a whole, was rather inexperienced and unproven at the major league level.

    The Brewers were counting on Gallardo, the most experienced and successful out of the group, to be at the top of his game whenever he stepped on the mound.

    That's a big burden for anyone to bear, regardless of past success.

    While that doesn't change—Milwaukee still needs Gallardo at the top of his game every time he takes the mound—adding Lohse to the mix allows Gallardo to breathe a bit easier, knowing that some of that pressure has been shifted to Lohse's shoulders.