On Tuesday night I saw a tweet from ESPN’s and Baseball America’s Jerry Crasnick from a few days earlier. I thought the content of the tweet was ridiculous, so I responded. Thus began a healthy dialogue between the two of us.
Apparently, a Major League Baseball executive is of the opinion that Milwaukee Brewers’ pitchers Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza will not be moved because no team will want to take them on. I vehemently disagreed with that thought.
He clearly was fascinated by my “giggle” comment which is probably the main reason he responded. If I would have tweeted “This makes me laugh,” odds are this article would not be in existence.
The only thing Mr. Crasnick and I disagreed about was whether or not Lohse and Garza could be moved. We both agreed that, as of now, they have very limited value and that Milwaukee’s potential return on them would be small. But that’s not what I was arguing about. I wholeheartedly believe that both of them can and will be moved this season. He sided with the executive, by making the strong argument that the market is bare for “aging pitchers with big contracts and bad numbers.” This makes sense, but the MLB executive could easily be attempting to manipulate the trade market. It happens all the time.
Look, I don’t care if Lohse has a 10.00 ERA. I still think the Brewers could move him. At 36 years old, he still has upside. He’s posted an ERA under 3.60 in four consecutive seasons, so what contending team wouldn’t want to take a chance on him? Sure, he has the worst ERA among qualified starters in 2015 and his FIP is almost just as bad, but like I said, there’s still plenty of time for him to turn it around. He’s getting hit for a .311 BABIP, the highest since 2010. He’s also not walking more batters than usual and he’s actually striking out more. Lohse clearly has had a decent amount of bad luck this season. Home runs are an issue, yes, but maybe he needs to go to a more pitcher-friendly park. Safeco? The thought that no team wants to take on some of his $11 million contract is ludicrous. Odds are the Brewers will pay most of it, anyway.
Finding a trade partner for Garza might be a bit more difficult, but it’s still very possible. He still has three years left on his deal after 2015, and is owed a lot of money. But he has even more upside than Lohse as he is just 31. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was in a Brewers’ uniform in 2016, but that would probably be the last of him in Milwaukee. If the Brewers want to rebuild, they can’t do it with his contract.
I’m fairly certain Lohse will be traded this season, and I have to think there’s at least a handful of teams already calling general manager Doug Melvin. If he doesn’t get traded, I’ll be surprised, but I’ll make sure to tweet Crasnick and admit he and his source were correct.
There is a market for Lohse and Garza. It’s just up to the Brewers to find it.