When the Cardinals made their qualifying offer to Kyle Lohse, they were counting on two things: (1) that Lohse and greedy agent Scott Boras would like turn it down and (2) as a result they would get a draft pick from the supplemental round (between the first and second rounds of the draft).
However, that may no longer be the case.
Any team who signs Lohse would lose their first round pick, along with
the allotted dollars for that pick and that is the main factor deterring
teams from signing Lohse (along with his still high asking price).
According to the CBA, if a team waits until after the June draft, they would not lose their first round pick for signing Lohse. In addition, the Cardinals would lose their draft pick compensation if Lohse does not sign before the next June draft. Thus, there's been speculation that Lohse would wait until after the June draft to sign.
However, according to Peter Gammons, Boras insisted that Lohse wouldn't have to wait that long, indicating that "we have too many teams in play." However, Boras has been saying that for a while now and we still have no indication that any team is close to signing Lohse.
Even though the loss of a first round draft pick is the major deterrent to any team signing Lohse, his asking price still remains high. According to Yahoo's Jeff Passan, one week after spring training, Boras was asking for 3 years and $45 million for his client. That figure has dropped, but per Ken Rosenthal, Lohse is still looking to match Ryan Dempster's two year, $26.5 million contract.
For his part, Lohse is getting himself ready for the start of the season, throwing 90 pitch simulated games in Arizona, according to Yahoo's Tim Brown. But the question remains as to whether he will sign with a team before then.
Scott Boras is usually pretty good at pulling a rabbit out of his hat and getting a large contract for his clients when there is seemingly no market for them. However, I feel he has seriously misjudged the market for Lohse this year and its going to cost him.
It may come down to whether Lohse and Boras are willing to agree to a contract that they feel is "below market" or if they want to wait a few months and see if they can get that 3 year/$45 million deal they wanted in the first place.
The Cardinals are hoping its the former, but its looking more and more like its going to be the latter.