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  1. The lesson here seems to be that, if you can get a guy on a pillow contract, it has a strong chance of working out for your team.

    Comment by HawkeyeCub — March 1, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

  2. When in doubt, accept the qualifying offer.

    Comment by Paul Wilson — March 1, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

  3. It’s worth pointing out that many teams would have to give up a first round draft pick to sign him. This is a major factor in the slow market for him.

    Comment by Bo — March 1, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

  4. During Lohse’s time with the Cardinals, he was very good when healthy and very bad when injured. Which is to say he was very good. Today’s problems are the result of 2 things: age and the Duncan effect – pitchers always pitch better for the Cardinals than after they leave.

    Comment by 2nd Edition — March 1, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

  5. The big issue with a pillow contract at Lohse’s age is that he’ll surely be in the same boat again next year, should he pitch well.

    Maybe he should negotiate either a “must-trade” clause, as Dave Cameron has mooted before, or a “no-QO” clause (not permitted, but possibly doable surreptitiously?)

    Comment by Aaron (UK) — March 1, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

  6. Sure, that would be great for him if he can negotiate that – but given his lack of leverage, how would that be possible? Teams don’t seem to want to give up a first round pick to sign him for just one year – so they surely won’t want to give up a first round pick and give up the potential to give him a qualifying offer. The only way I can see that happening is if he signs for a very low base, but I don’t think that makes much sense for him.

    Comment by vivalajeter — March 1, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

  7. It’s certainly strange that he’s looking for a pillow contract after a season in which he was a Cy Young contender (And in fact led his league in WPA), but I do suspect there are teams who would value him more after a league-average season in the AL than after a fantastic year with the Cardinals.

    Much as I hate to root for Boras, I hope Lohse strikes a big blow against the Dave Duncan effect this season.

    Comment by Sparkles Peterson — March 1, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

  8. Read this recently, and it makes some sense: What if the best Major League contract offer at this point is, say, an $8 mil 1 year deal, but he is offered a minor league deal worth $13 mil if he “makes” the big league club? The minor league deal would have been proposed for the obvious reason of avoiding the forfeited pick, but if that’s his most lucrative offer, why shouldn’t he take it? This needs to happen to force MLB’s hand to change the process.

    Comment by DD — March 1, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

  9. Another thing – if he doesn’t sign until after the season starts, whatever team signs him can’t offer him a qualifying offer can they, since he didn’t spend the whole year with the club?

    Comment by DD — March 1, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

  10. Here’s the applicable verbage per the CBA, Article XX:B-3 –

    (3) Rights of Former Club
    The following provision shall apply only to each Player who
    becomes a free agent under this Section B after having been continuously
    under reserve (without interruption) to the same Club (either
    at the Major or Minor League level) since Opening Day of the
    recently completed championship season (“Qualified Free Agent”).

    Comment by DD — March 1, 2013 @ 1:42 pm

  11. Is this actually true? I read the article posted here, but it seems to me it’d have more to do with age than who they were playing for.

    Comment by Antonio bananas — March 1, 2013 @ 1:43 pm

  12. In the CBA is says you can’t do this to avoid the draft penalty.

    Comment by MakeitRayn — March 1, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

  13. I know you can’t, but the point is it is not in the best interests of the player to take the lesser deal, and the union would have a canniption (sp).

    Comment by DD — March 1, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

  14. First round draft pick for a One year Pillow contract. I just don’t see it happening. First rounders are hoped to be aces, stars, studs, etc under team control for a number of years, at affordable prices. Or, to put it another way –> 1yr pillow OR multiyear, developing star <– Not even a hard choice. Go with the star every time.

    Yes, I know that first round does not guarantee star. BUT, Each and every team is expecting it, and weighing the first round pick as such.

    Comment by Cidron — March 1, 2013 @ 3:02 pm

  15. Especially since Duncan wasn’t there last season. If the Duncan effect turned Lohse around, then apparently Duncan doesn’t actually have to be there for it to work.

    Comment by deadpool — March 1, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

  16. You forgot another pillow contract player- Kyle Lohse. He signed one with the Cardinals in spring ’08, then signed a 4-year contract before ’09.

    Comment by Todd — March 1, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

  17. If you think about it, the “restrictive qualifying offer hounding him” is probably the very reason he isn’t getting the pillow contract offer. The difference between him and the rest of the pillow signees was that the signing team did not have to give up a pick to get the player, but could hope that even in a resurgent year where they couldn’t afford to resign the player, they would get a compensatory pick. In this case, even if Lohse matches last years performance the sandwich pick received after he leaves in free agency would not rank as high as the 1st rounder surrendered, unless he signs with a team that already gave up a 1st rounder to sign somebody else. Therefore, it stands to reason he’s likely only to sign with the Angels/Indians/Rangers, as they are the only teams that could stand to gain draft position from a solid 1 year performance from Lohse, while also benefiting in the now on the MLB team (as all 3 should view themselves as contenders, Indian’s actual chances at doing so notwithstanding).

    Comment by chris — March 1, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

  18. Already covered. As the article says, “given the restrictive qualifying offer hounding him.”

    Comment by Greg Simons — March 1, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

  19. Well, Duncan worked with Lohse for a few years, the Cardinals’ new pitching coach learned his craft under Duncan, and I’m assuming all of Duncan’s extensive notes are still around. I think it’s reasonable to think some teams are still wary of the Duncan effect.

    Comment by Sparkles Peterson — March 1, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

  20. There is still at least one GM in Major League Baseball who values first round picks so highly that he gladly forfeited them for such aces, stars, and studs as Michael Tucker.

    Comment by Sparkles Peterson — March 1, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

  21. Exactly – he didn’t sign until March 14 in 2008.

    Comment by gnomez — March 1, 2013 @ 10:20 pm

  22. Who in their right mind would give up a shot at a potential future star to take a chance on a 34 year old Kyle Lohse at $10 M plus per season? Answer: nobody. The guy has a career year and cannot even get signed. But, hey, give him a pillow contract and maybe he delivers again in a contract year – that’s how the Cardinals got on the hook for him in the first place, at a time when that money could have been directed elsewhere (like wrapping Pujols up to an 8 or 9 year extension three years ago). Even after losing a front of the rotation guy in Carp and getting two good years of service, the Cards have NO interest in bringing Lohse back.

    Comment by RotyBird — March 2, 2013 @ 1:10 am

  23. Kyle Lohse got greedy. He should have taken the qualifying offer. Now he could end up getting nothing. I love seeing greedy players get bit in the backside.

    Comment by alashieve — March 2, 2013 @ 8:19 am

  24. But the historical conclusion that is drawn (1 year pillow = good) is based on the old CBA rules. Who is going to want to give up a 1st round pick in 2013 for 1 year of Lohse?

    Comment by ttnorm — March 2, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

  25. A win-now team with a late-1st-round pick who feels they’re a mid-rotation upgrade away from a serious run at the World Series. Not sure what team fits that description, but given the historical success rate of late 1st-rounders, I imagine it’d be a decent gamble for a handful of teams.

    Comment by Jay29 — March 2, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

  26. Millwood accepted arbitration with the Braves, not the Phillies. The Braves then traded him to the Phillies for Johnny Estrada.

    Comment by WonkoTheSane — March 2, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

  27. Cleveland should try and find a way to sign him to a pillow contract at a reduced rate. They would only lose a third round pick. Lohse would be trade able at the all star break if Cleveland is out of it. I bet they would get much more than the value of a third round draft pick in return. OR Cleveland should be part of a work around trade. They could sign him and trade him for a second round draft pick equivalent value package. The Indians seem to be really missing out on an opportunity here.

    Comment by NATS Fan — March 4, 2013 @ 4:55 am

  28. Also teams that have already given up their first rounder; late second rounders are worth very little. The Braves, Yankees, Angels, and Indians have all already lost their first pick (first two for the Indians). What’s a late second round pick worth, $1 million tops???

    Comment by TKDC — March 4, 2013 @ 9:36 am

  29. He could just sign a deal with a stingy team. The Marlins or Rays are not risking him taking them up on 1/$14 million in 2014, regardless of how his 2013 season goes.

    Comment by TKDC — March 4, 2013 @ 9:38 am

  30. The Rangers still have their first pick.

    Comment by TKDC — March 4, 2013 @ 9:42 am

  31. Texas has the 24th pick, plus (I think) the 31st pick for losing Hamilton.

    Comment by WWMcClyde — March 4, 2013 @ 11:01 am

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