According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Brewers may not be trading either of their most valuable chips this summer:
Two previously available starting pitchers — Milwaukee Brewers righties Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse — now figure to stay put. Both could have greater trade value in the offseason, when different dynamics will be in play.
At that point, Gallardo will have two years and $24.25 million left on his contract, Lohse two years and $22 million. Both of their average salaries will be lower than the amount of the qualifying offer, which is likely to be more than $14 million. And both will be more affordable than free agents like Santana, who likely will seek three-year deals at bigger numbers.
The article doesn’t elaborate on the point. It doesn’t state whether the organization is not interested in moving either or the right-handers or the asking price is lofty enough that it makes a potential deal exceedingly unlikely at this moment.
My speculation would be the organization is simply placing a lofty price tag on the two hurlers in a seller’s market. If a team meets the asking price, the deal will be too good to pass up. If no one meets the Brewers’ demands, they can avoid the “rebuilding” label and salvage some ticket sales in August and September, while revisiting potential trades in the offseason.
Such a strategy carries significant risk — as Gallardo could continue to struggle and Lohse’s current trade value may be higher than it will be in December — but it also has some significant reward potential, too. That is, assuming the organization is even interested in moving either starting pitcher, which certainly isn’t a forgone conclusion.