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Friday, March 14, 2008

Lohse Signs with Cards

Kyle Lohse signed with the Cards today for a 1 year, $4.25 million contract. He can earn $500k in performance bonuses, putting his best total contract value at $4.75 million.

Wow.

Here's his recent stats:
Year Age Team IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 %GB BABIP ERA FIP OBPa SLGa OPSa R/G RAR FIPRuns
2005 26 MIN 178.7 4.3 2.2 1.1 44.2% 0.311 4.18 4.55 0.344 0.480 0.824 5.2 15.8 19.7
2006 27 MIN/CIN
126.7 6.9 3.1 1.1 38.4% 0.333 5.83 4.34 0.356 0.504 0.860 5.5 11.2 22.1
2007 28 CIN/PHI
192.7 5.7 2.7 1.0 35.5% 0.300 4.62 4.53 0.357 0.495 0.852 4.8 27.7 26.3
3years --- --- 498.1 5.5 2.6 1.1 39.4% 0.305 5.17 4.45 0.352 0.493 0.845 5.1 54.8 68.2

Ok, so if we use a 5/4/3 weighting scheme over the past three years, Lohse has averaged 19.3 RAR and 23.3 FIP-RAR, the latter being my quick'n'dirty DIPS version of RAR. If we suppose he'll "age" (including injuries) a half-win this year, we can therefore forecast that he'll produce somewhere in the range of 14.3-18.3 RAR next season, or 1.4-1.8 WAR.

At $4.4 million/WAR, that would suggest a salary of $6.2-7.9 million this year would be fair. Tom Tango's salary scale suggests that a package somewhere in the range of $14-21 million over three years would be reasonable. Lohse is not an ace, but he's a reasonably valuable pitcher at the back of one's rotation.

By comparison, I have Carlos Silva, who signed a $48 million/4 year deal this offseason, at ~2.1 WAR over the past three seasons, which gives him a projected ~1.6 WAR this season. Lohse gets a very similar projection. And Silva's making $12 million/year?!

So what on earth happened here? Certainly, Silva is earning too much. We knew that. But I have to think that Lohse and his "super agent" Scott Boras must have severely overplayed their hand, or otherwise must have pissed a bunch of people off this offseason.

The Cards got a nice deal on this one.