Kyle Lohse: Why the Brewers' Latest Addition Will Not Be a Suppan-Sized Flop

Chris Schad@@crishadContributor IIIMarch 26, 2013

After an offseason of negotiations, the Milwaukee Brewers came to terms on a three-year, $33 million contract with Kyle Lohse on Monday, according to numerous reports, including the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Lohse, who was the last available free agent of note on the market, is coming off a career season where he went 16-3 with a 2.83 ERA for the rival St. Louis Cardinals.

2012 wasn't the only year St. Louis was great to the 34-year-old pitcher. In five seasons with the Cardinals, Lohse was 55-35 with a 3.90 ERA according to Baseball-Reference.

With the addition of Lohse, there may be some Brewers fans that are concerned that Milwaukee overpaid when it also had to forfeit the 17th overall pick in the June entry draft to St. Louis.

There's also the ghost of Jeff Suppan hanging over their heads.

Suppan was the last noteworthy Cardinals' pitcher to make the jump from St. Louis to Milwaukee, and the comparisons to Lohse are eerily similar.

A three-year stretch with the Cardinals resulted in a 44-26 record for Suppan and that didn't include his performance in the 2006 National League Championship Series.

With a 1-0 record and 0.60 ERA in two starts against the New York Mets, Suppan earned MVP honors in the NLCS and cashed in with a four-year, $42 million contract with the Brewers.

Things fell apart after that as Suppan wasn't the same pitcher after leaving St. Louis. He posted a 29-36 record and 5.08 ERA over the next four seasons.

With that in mind, its understandable why the Brew Crew is a little gun shy about signing a similar pitcher.

Don't be.

Lohse is a changed pitcher since entering the Cardinals organization, and a lot of that credit goes to pitching coach Dave Duncan. 

However, Lohse had career numbers in 2012 after Duncan had taken a leave of absence.

That's good news for a Brewers team that needed a veteran presence behind Yovani Gallardo in the rotation after their young nucleus of pitching got shelled in the Cactus League this spring. Adding Lohse gives the Brewers a chance to let some of the younger guys develop while keeping the team competitive at the major league level.

If it works, it will be a boost to a team looking to reclaim their spot on top of the National League Central.

If not, the Brewers may never look at a Cardinal pitcher again.

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