Lohse rewarded in arbitration case
Right-hander lowered his ERA in 30 starts last season
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For the second straight year, Kyle Lohse has been rewarded in his arbitration case against the Twins.The ruling from the arbitration panel came Wednesday afternoon in favor of the 27-year-old pitcher who will earn $3.95 million this season. Lohse is the first player to earn back-to-back wins over his team in arbitration since Doug Drabek and Wally Joyner did it in 1990 and 1991. "On my end I felt that I was unfortunate that it had to go to that point for a second year," Lohse said. "I talked to my agent Scott Boras to try to get a midpoint deal and that was not offered so we had to take the next step to go to arbitration. I'm just glad now that it's over and I can concentrate on baseball." Lohse went 9-13 for the second season in a row in 2005 but decreased his ERA from 5.34 to 4.18 the year before. His numbers were better but he only made 30 starts last season, four less than in 2004. The Twins felt that their offer gave them a strong case. "Both sides have their own thoughts that their case is legit -- He did, we did," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "Kyle prevailed in this and you move on. It's one of those things, that's the reason why the process is in place." The two sides went through the hearing process last year over a difference of $250,000 and the team had to pay Lohse $2.4 million. With Lohse's two wins in the arbitration process, the Twins No. 4 starter has made an extra $800,000 the past two seasons. "It's good to have the decision turn out in my favor because you know often times it could go either way," Lohse said. "We felt that we asked for a reasonable number and it's nice to know that (the arbitration panel) felt it was one too." The most recent decision is the latest chapter in what has often been a sticky relationship between the Twins and Lohse in terms of contract negotiations. Represented by Boras, one of the most well-known agents in baseball, Lohse has never come to terms on a contract with the Twins during his five-year career with the club. Lohse's contract was renewed in 2002 and 2003 when the two sides couldn't settle on a deal and then the arbitration hearings have taken place the past two seasons. Though Lohse has one more year of arbitration before he becomes a free agent, he isn't thinking about what may play out next year if a deal once again cannot be reached.
"It's not a concern for me at all because these things always work themselves out," Lohse said. "It's kind of been like this every year for me and now that it's over once again, it's time to play baseball."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.