Finally, some specifics re: The contract that scuttled a thousand Kyle Lohse rumors, thanks to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Apparently Lohse was imagining a $45 million deal when he turned down the St. Louis Cardinals' qualifying offer of one year, $13 million and change.
A week into spring training, Kyle Lohse's asking price was 3 years, $45M, two executives say. It continues to drop as he remains unsigned.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 21, 2013
Rob Neyer points out that this explains a lot. It also lets us sharpen the offseason narrative, which is that the qualifying offer draft pick has ruined things for guys like Lohse, who are most valuable to contenders who don't want to lose their middle-of-the-first-round draft pick.
If this is the contract that teams have avoided, the draft pick has only ruined things for Lohse inasmuch as it makes teams less likely to seriously overpay for his services. If Lohse were down to one-year contract offers I'd be willing to entertain the idea that it's been a major hindrance, but if Passan is right it sounds more like the draft pick has shaved off one particular outcome, which was both a little unlikely from the start and not especially beneficial to the team that would have signed him anyway. Market value is still well within his reach.