Cards gain Draft pick as Lohse signs with Crew

JUPITER, Fla. -- A 16-game winner and rotation ERA leader in 2012, Kyle Lohse has left the Cardinals for a National League Central foe.

Lohse, whose free agency lasted late into Spring Training, agreed to a three-year, $33 million deal with the Brewers on Monday, pending a physcial. The right-hander turned down a $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals in November.

The NL Central race, which many expected to be a battle between St. Louis and Cincinnati, becomes much more interesting now that Lohse, who finished seventh in NL Cy Young voting last year, lands in Milwaukee. He'll join Yovani Gallardo atop that Brewers rotation.

The Cardinals do benefit, though, as Lohse's signing gives St. Louis a compensation pick that it positioned itself for by making Lohse the qualifying offer. That pick will be No. 28 overall in the First-Year Player Draft and will add at least $1.65 million to the Cardinals' pool of Draft money.

Because the Brewers lose their first-round pick (No. 17) by signing Lohse, the Cardinals' other first-round selection moves up one place to No. 19. That was the same selection the Cardinals used to select Michael Wacha in 2012.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.