Kyle Lohse waited all winter and finally found a home with Milwaukee.
Lohse and the Brewers completed a three-year contract worth $33 million Monday, a big boost to their suspect rotation a week before the season opener at home against Colorado.
‘‘I'm really happy to be able to come over,’’ Lohse said during a news conference at the team’s spring training facility in Phoenix. ‘‘With this offense and the ability of their pitching staff, it looks like a good fit. I know everybody in the division.’’
Lohse enjoyed his best season in the majors last year, going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA and helping the Cardinals earn an NL wild-card spot.
When he hit the free agent market, however, it took nearly the entire offseason for the 34-year-old righthander to find a new team. He turned down a $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals in November, so under baseball’s new labor agreement most major league clubs had to be willing to forfeit a first-round draft pick if they wanted to sign him.
Apparently, that made potential suitors pretty hesitant.
But the Brewers were in need of a reliable starter and general manager Doug Melvin said the move ‘‘makes us a better club than we were yesterday.’’
Milwaukee gave up the 17th overall pick in this year’s amateur draft to land Lohse, who is 118-109 with a 4.45 ERA in 12 seasons with Minnesota, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and St. Louis.
Kazmir earns spot with Indians
Scott Kazmir, who hasn’t pitched in the majors in almost two years, won a spot in the Indians’ rotation. The lefthander was chosen as the No. 5 starter by manager Terry Francona, outpitching a group that included Daisuke Matsuzaka. Kazmir went 9-15 with the Angels in 2010, and made one start in 2011 before he was placed on the disabled list and released two months later . . . Edinson Volquez, 11-11 with a 4.14 ERA last year, will get the Opening Day start for the Padres against the Mets, manager Bud Black announced . . . Dillon Gee pitched six scoreless innings and struck out seven as the Mets topped the Braves, 7-4, in Kissimmee, Fla. Gee surrendered 11 earned runs in his previous two starts and missed the second half of last season because of a blood clot in his right shoulder . . . The Cardinals announced that 22-year-old righthander Shelby Miller had won the fifth spot in their rotation.
Lawrie bound for disabled list
Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie will start the regular season on the disabled list because of a strained rib. Toronto likely will platoon Mark DeRosa and Maicer Izturis at third . . . White Sox right fielder Alex Rios went for a precautionary MRI on his lower back after missing a third straight game because of stiffness. The team expects him back in a few days . . . Catcher Rod Barajas, 37, a member of Arizona’s 2001 World Series championship team, was released by the Diamondbacks . . . Virgil Trucks, who pitched two no-hitters in 1952 for a Detroit Tigers team that lost 104 games, died Saturday near Birmingham, Ala. He was 95. Obituary, B14.