Kyle Lohse went through this as a free agent once before. Five years ago on Thursday, he signed a one-year, $4.25 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.
This time, Lohse is taking even longer to find a new team.
Lohse, 34, is working out both near his home in Arizona and at a facility operated by his agent, Scott Boras — the Boras Sports Training Institute in Aliso Viejo, Calif. He is facing hitters at the institute, and threw 85 pitches in his most recent outing, Boras said.
The Texas Rangers remain in contact with Lohse, according to major-league sources. Boras said only that multiple teams are interested.
“He’s doing his workouts, and we’ve continued talking with a number of teams,” Boras said. "A lot of teams are evaluating their existing situations, but have called and have interest in Kyle.”
Lohse’s market is slow in part because he is subject to draft-pick compensation, but executives also cite his high asking price — a three-year deal with a “big” average salary, according to one exec.
The Rangers, though, continue to make sense for Lohse on a couple of levels.
Two of their starting pitchers, left-hander Martin Perez and righty Colby Lewis, are expected to be out until early May with injuries. Another of their starters, righty Alexi Ogando, is converting from the bullpen to the rotation.
The Rangers also are in better position than most clubs to forfeit a draft pick for Lohse. They select 24th – a relatively low position – and gained the 30th choice when they lost free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton to the Angels.
Draft-pick compensation for Lohse would be eliminated if he waited to sign until after the draft, which takes place between June 6 and 8.
Boras continues to express confidence that the pitcher will sign before then.
— Ken Rosenthal