In an article written by New York Newsday's David Lennon, Lennon made his predictions on where the top 25 free agents will land by the end of the winter.
While the anticipated, and expected, name on the list for the Red Sox was catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli, the other name Lennon cited was free-agent pitcher out of St. Louis, Kyle Lohse.
According to Lennon:
Lohse is 30-11 in his last two seasons and is coming off 211 innings with a 2.86 ERA for the Cards this year. The Boras Binder won't need much filler to get Lohse what he wants.
Prediction: Red Sox, four years, $60 million.
While the idea of signing Lohse is not a bad one by any means, it would appear that Lennon might be off in what type of contract the Sox would be willing to extend to an older pitcher.
If they've learned anything from recent signings, they will not give a four-year contract to a 34-year-old outright.
Yes, the 30-11 record with 399.1 innings of work over the past two seasons is very impressive; however, both 2009 and 2010 were injury-shortened seasons for Lohse, something that should not be overlooked.
During his 12-year career, he has pitched six seasons in the American League, where he owns a career 4.88 ERA and a 1.447 WHIP.
More specifically, against the American League East (including the Red Sox), Lohse is 12-12 in 36 career games (33 starts) and 201.2 innings with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.416 WHIP.
If he is being brought in to be the fourth or fifth starter, those are numbers you can absolutely live with.
However, if he is being brought in for $15 million annually and produces those figures, that is something the team cannot live with.
What should be considered as well is the fact that a majority of his AL experience, save for interleague play, came between the ages of 23 and 27. Since then, he's made the jump to the NL and found success in his starts.
Four years and $60 million might be a bit steep, but pitching comes at a premium and it may just be a gamble the team has to take.