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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Should Focus on Kyle Lohse

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 22:  Kyle Lohse #26 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts in the third inning while taking on the San Francisco Giants in Game Seven of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park on October 22, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Paul Francis SullivanChief Writer IDecember 9, 2012

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim should devote their attention and efforts to bringing former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse to Southern California as they move on from Zack Greinke's departure.

Greinke has moved north up the I-5.  The former Cy Young Award winner left the Angels to go to the team that actually plays in Los Angeles, the Dodgers.

A player who complained about the media in places like Kansas City and Milwaukee (according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) is going to the second-biggest media market in the country for the second-biggest deal a pitcher has ever received.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Greinke's deal is worth $145 million over the next six seasons. Only CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees has a bigger deal among pitchers.

But it might be the Angels who dodged something bad, not the Dodgers. The 29-year-old pitcher can be one of the best arms in the game. But the likelihood of him remaining an elite pitcher until 2018 are not high.

If the Angels focus their attention on signing free agent Kyle Lohse to a shorter deal, they may not miss a step. Lohse may be older than Greinke, but he has been effective for three of the last five seasons, including last season, when he finished seventh in the Cy Young vote and probably should have been higher.

He had the highest winning percentage in the league, logged 211 innings with a 2.86 ERA and had one of the best WHIPs in the league.

Plus, he would be essentially be the No. 3 starter on the club behind Jered Weaver and C. J. Wilson. Offering Lohse a three-year deal would give the Angels a good starter without an unreasonable commitment.

If Lohse comes into the fold, the Angels would essentially replace Zack Greinke, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana with Kyle Lohse, Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton. There is a good chance that both trios of pitchers will produce roughly the same numbers in 2013, with the Angels spending much less and committing to fewer years in the process.

Let the Dodgers pay for Greinke's declining years. Simply fill Greinke's spot with a good arm, and the Angels will be in a good place.

Lohse should be that arm.

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