Kyle Lohse rumors euthanized humanely by St. Louis Cardinals' John Mozeliak

David Welker

The St. Louis Cardinals' general manager didn't mince words when prompted about Kyle Lohse's potential return.

Well, so much for everyone's favorite(?) counterfactual Kyle Lohse rumor: In a recent radio appearance, John Mozeliak made it about as clear as he could that the St. Louis Cardinals were not a likely destination for the pitcher the free agency market left behind. Via MLB Daily Dish, this firm not-quite-denial:

Lohse went into free agency about as strongly as he could—his 16-3 season in 2012 had to be among baseball's more improbable career years—but after looking like a lock for a multi-year contract in November he's run into exactly the kind of trouble a veteran starter who's most valuable to a contender willing to overpay for him can't afford.

That is: Draft pick trouble. Declining the Cardinals' qualifying offer of one year, $13 million means Lohse will cost all but the worst teams their first-round draft pick when he signs, and the worst teams likely have little interest in a thirtysomething who will probably drift back towards inning-eatery in 2013. (Derrick Goold wrote an interesting story about Lohse's struggles to find a match willing to surrender their first-rounder last week.)

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