Yankees have ‘checked in’ on mid-level free-agent pitcher

MLB: NLDS-Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies, new york yankees
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The Yankees received fortunate news on Thursday evening, with Gerrit Cole reportedly learning that he will miss about 10–12 weeks before he can return to the team’s starting rotation.

The Yankees will have to survive without Cole until June, but that is a much better scenario than missing him for the entire year. The fanbase can take solace in knowing their ace will return at some point during the 2024 season. With World Series aspirations, the Yankees need to stay afloat until Cole recovers, which shouldn’t be much of a problem given the state of their offense, featuring Aaron Judge and Juan Soto.

The Yankees Are Looking For Pitching Support

However, the Yankees could use another experienced arm. They recently checked in on Michael Lorenzen, a 32-year-old free-agent pitcher who played for the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies last season. He tossed 153 innings, the first time he ever pitched over 114 innings over a nine-year career, most of which came with the Cincinnati Reds.

Lorenzen had a 4.18 ERA, including 6.53 strikeouts per nine, a 69.8% left-on-base rate, and a 41% ground ball rate. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t even scratch the surface of supplementing Cole’s loss, but at the very least, he would fill an important spot in the rotation until Cole is ready to return.

Lorenzen features a four-seam fastball, slider, change-up, and sinker as his primary four pitches. Last season, his four-seamer produced a .211 batting average against with a .333 slugging rate. His best pitch was his change-up, producing a .186 batting average, a 31.4% whiff rate, and a 16.5% put-away rate. Lorenzen isn’t a high strike-out arm, but he doesn’t give up any walks or home runs and has a reasonable ground ball rate of over 40% on a yearly basis.

The question is, how much are the Yankees willing to spend on a player like Lorenzen, who would include a 110% tax since the Yankees are already over 300 million and have an active total payroll?

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