Thursday, January 18, 2018
Sports

Pitcher lands a deal just in time

PHOENIX — Kyle Lohse waited all winter and finally found a home with Milwaukee.

Lohse and the Brewers completed a three-year contract worth $33 million Monday, a big boost to a suspect rotation a week before the season opener at home against the Rockies.

"I'm really happy to be able to come over," Lohse said at a news conference. "With this offense and the ability of their pitching staff, it looks like a good fit. I know everybody in the division."

Lohse enjoyed his best season last year, going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA and helping the Cardinals earn an NL wild-card spot.

When he hit the free-agent market, however, it took nearly the entire offseason for the 34-year-old right-hander to find a new team. He turned down a $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals in November, so under baseball's new labor agreement most clubs had to be willing to forfeit a first-round draft pick to sign him.

Apparently, that made potential suitors pretty hesitant.

"We have a system in place here that's affecting the major leagues. It's affecting major-league players, it's affecting development and preventing a lot of people from doing their jobs effectively, particularly organizations like this who rely on development," said Lohse's agent, Scott Boras.

"They should be able to sign free agents if they wish and also develop as they wish, and I think it's best for baseball that we really re-examine this."

In other Brewers news, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, released from his minor-league contract by the Phillies last week, agreed to a major-league deal.

BRAVES: Left-handed reliever Jonny Venters has a sprained pitching elbow and is day to day.

CARDINALS: Third baseman David Freese went on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain, and infielder Ryan Jackson was recalled from Triple-A Memphis. Freese hopes to return for the home opener April 8.

DODGERS: Right-hander Zack Greinke, who got a platelet-rich plasma injection in his inflamed pitching elbow March 11, said the elbow felt fine a day after he pitched three innings. … Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig, a spring sensation with a majors-high .526 average, was sent to Double-A Chattanooga.

GIANTS: The club selected the contract of former Rays right-hander Chad Gaudin from the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies.

INDIANS: Right-handers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Matt Capps agreed to minor-league contracts after being released from their previous deals.

MARLINS: Outfielder Matt Diaz agreed to a minor-league deal after his release by the Yankees.

METS: Right-hander Shaun Marcum could miss the start of the season because of a neck injury.

ORIOLES: Infielder Wilson Betemit estimates he'll be out six to eight weeks because of a tear in his right knee. … Outfielder Nick Markakis went 1-for-5 as the DH in his return after sitting out since March 1 with a herniated disc in his neck.

PIRATES: Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez and third baseman Brandon Inge were told they will make the opening day roster. Sanchez will be the No. 4 starter.

RANGERS: Shortstop Jurickson Profar, regarded as one of baseball's best prospects, will begin the season at Triple-A Round Rock. … Right-hander Derek Lowe, 39, earned a job and will start the season in the bullpen.

ROYALS: Right-hander Luis Mendoza was named the fifth starter, sending left-hander Bruce Chen, who led the team in starts, innings and wins last season, to the bullpen.

TIGERS: Right-hander Rick Porcello earned the No. 5 starter's job, and left-hander Drew Smyly will open in the bullpen.

TWINS: The team reassigned World Baseball Classic star Samuel Deduno to minor-league camp. The Dominican right-hander has battled a groin injury.

WHITE SOX: Left-hander John Danks, who is recovering from August surgery on his rotator cuff and biceps, went on the 15-day disabled list.

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