Kyle Lohse has been sitting in this dugout the whole time. - Christian Petersen
The St. Louis Cardinals might be out a draft pick with the latest Kyle Lohse rumors suggesting he's ready to hold out until the MLB Draft to sign.
Kyle Lohse rumors have leaked out of the offseason already, but the latest set suggests we might be hearing them all the way until June: The erstwhile St. Louis Cardinals starter is, as Ken Rosenthal points out, still unemployed two-and-a-half months away from the MLB Draft, when the compensation draft pick looming over potential suitors' heads will be wiped out. That means the Cardinals wouldn't get their supposed qualifying offer bounty, and Lohse would (presumably) see a more robust market for his services emerge.
I think that's certainly possible—Roy Oswalt waited much longer to sign last year than I thought he would, though it didn't turn out especially well for him. But that strategy assumes something that isn't necessarily true: That the only thing keeping Lohse from a three-year contract is the draft pick a team outside the Top 10 would lose.
I'm not sure that's true, especially now that we're assuming it would be a two-and-a-half year contract. Lohse had an outstanding season in 2012, but unfortunately for him, he didn't have it in 2002—every year it becomes more obvious, to teams and fans alike, that a player like Lohse is a bad bet to repeat a season like that.
It's true that he doesn't have to to be a valuable player; his ZiPS projection, for a 3.63 ERA against a 3.60 FIP, would net 3.1 fWAR in 27 starts. But if he holds out for two months in his age-34 season, he'd be eating up some of the most valuable starts of the contract. Nobody, after all, is that worried about signing Kyle Lohse to a one-year contract.