New York Yankees Eyeing Former ’23 Phillie for Starting Rotation

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Yankees Phillies Michael Lorenzen
Philadelphia Phillies’ Michael Lorenzen pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PHILADELPHIA – The Evil Empire had one of the most productive offseasons in MLB that started with acquiring generational talent, Juan Soto. Now, it seems their pursuit for starting pitching just got much harder with ace Gerrit Cole sidelined for the first 1-2 months of the season.

Next Man Up for Yankees

Replacing Cole albeit, for a short period, isn’t something you can instantly conjure up out of thin air. His presence in that rotation is impactful not only because of veteran experience but now a Cy Young award too. It’s easy to temporarily overlook this since fans have been pulling for Cashman and Co. to ink free agent and NL Cy Young winner, Blake Snell, to a mutual deal.

The problem is that the Yankees don’t want to spend the money that Snell and his agent Scott Boras have been asking for so now they’re turning to more affordable options. New reports now state that former Phillies starter, Michael Lorenzen, is viewed as the top candidate to fill the void. Lorenzen has turned down multiple offers ranging from $5-$7 million giving New York a great chance to sign him on a one-year deal.

Lorenzen’s journey has seen him move from a bullpen role with the Cincinnati Reds to spending the past two years transitioning into a starter with the Los Angeles Angels and Detroit Tigers.

The Phillies had obtained him at the deadline last year to bolster their rotation for the postseason. He wasted no time showcasing his talents by throwing the 14th no-hitter in the team’s history while securing his first All-Star selection.

These two points present a decent case of why he should be given the chance to remain a starter in MLB. On the flip side, however, he remained largely inconsistent and struggled in his new role after the no-hitter resulting in a demotion back to the bullpen. His questionable durability as a starter and past struggles are likely why he hasn’t signed with another team yet.

Lorenzen Yankees Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Michael Lorenzen celebrates after pitching a no-hitter during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Looking Ahead to April

The Yankees and Lorenzen seem like a fantastic partnership in this situation because the latter gets his chance to prove he’s a bonafide starter and walk away with a nice paycheck while the former gets him at a low cost on a short-term deal.

The Yankees have also been struggling to locate that fifth option in their rotation so once Cole returns from the Injured List, Lorenzen could be moved into that spot and create a formidable starting five.

Clarke Schmidt is currently the last starter but hasn’t found success in that role with multiple stints serving as the long reliever instead. Michael Lorenzen can also be moved to the bullpen but I think keeping him as a starter would prove more viable compared to a relief role. Regardless, both parties serve to benefit from a partnership here especially with the AL East being one of the toughest divisions to compete in.

Time will tell if Michael Lorenzen ends up with the Yankees. As Spring Training draws to a close and the regular season is almost here, options seem thin for both parties.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)