If Kyle Lohse was even a little apprehensive about rejecting the St. Louis Cardinals' qualifying offer and electing for free agency, the Kansas City Royals' latest acquisition must have put him at ease. Jeremy Guthrie is 33 years old, doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in his stuff, and over his last three seasons has gone 28-43 with an ERA+ of 100, a strikeout rate of 5.3, and a K:BB ratio of 2.11. The contract that goes with those numbers, apparently, is now $25 million over three years.
Lohse, you'll recall, even with the worst season of his career (2010) at the tail-end of the sample size, is 34-19 with an ERA+ of 101, a strikeout rate of 5.6, and a K:BB ratio of 2.68. (He's also allowed considerably fewer home runs per nine innings.) He's also 33, and in the last two years, for which teams will be paying him, has boosted those numbers to 122, 5.7, and 3.18.
As the free agency season began, most Hot Stove watchers considered Kyle Lohse an odd fit for a long-term contract, given his inconsistent career, his age, and his unimposing fastball. To be honest, he probably still is an odd fit. But it looks like few of us understood just how overheated this particular stove was going to get.