MILWAUKEE -- The Draft compensation attached to free-agent pitcher Kyle Lohse would not deter the Brewers if his price was right, principal owner Mark Attanasio said Sunday.
Attanasio left open the possibility for more moves in the two weeks that remain before Brewers pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training, including the possibility of a late run at Lohse. He would cost dollars and a Draft pick, because his former club, the Cardinals, made a qualifying offer before Lohse declined and elected free agency.
So besides paying Lohse the big salary he and agent Scott Boras are seeking, the Brewers would have to send St. Louis their first round pick -- No. 17 overall -- a factor that has deterred some teams from making offers. It wouldn't deter the Brewers, Attanasio said.
"I think you have to look at the whole picture," Attanasio said. "We've given up picks before, and when we got CC [Sabathia] and we got Zack [Greinke], we gave up more than draft compensation -- we gave up ready-to-go young players. This season, we're mindful of the fact that if we do add some pieces, we may have to give up some young players.
"So, the Draft pick compensation hasn't been as big an item for us in looking at this as it's been for other teams. We've got the No. 17 pick. We've done some good things with that level of pick, but I'm mindful that we drafted Ryan Braun No. 5 and Prince Fielder No. 7 and Rickie Weeks No. 2."
Attanasio declined to reveal whether the Brewers were in contact with Boras about Lohse, saying instead that general manager Doug Melvin "is in the office every day … and is in touch with all the agents, all the general managers."
The Brewers are currently committed to filling their rotation with in-house candidates. Yovani Gallardo is the unquestioned No. 1 and Marco Estrada is penciled in at No. 2. That would leave Wily Peralta, Mark Rogers, Mike Fiers and Chris Narveson to compete for three spots.
Lohse would certainly be a fit after going 30-11 with a 3.11 ERA for the Cardinals over the last two seasons. But his salary would push the Brewers' payroll from its current position in the $80 million range well over $90 million.
Is there any scenario in which that would work?
"There's always a chance," Attanasio said. "Again, it's a function of size of contract, length of contract. Kyle had a phenomenal two seasons the last two seasons. We just have to see if that fits in our overall scheme."