Red Sox ‘Almost Have to’ Strike Deal for Projected $20 Million All Star: Insider

Sam Kennedy

Getty Red Sox President Sam Kennedy has been urged by fans and players to add more talent to the roster before Opening Day.

The Boston Red Sox saw their projected pitching rotation take a big hit as starter Lucas Giolito may now miss the entire season due to elbow issues.

But there are a few potential solutions in the free-agent market and on the trading block, including Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, Zack Greinke and others. Evaluating Boston’s options, FanSided MLB insider Robert Murray identified free agent Michael Lorenzen as the most logical.

“I think Lorenzen is what makes the most sense for the Red Sox,” Murray reported. “Heck, they even made sense (as a match) before Giolito went down with an injury. Now, it’s something that they almost have to do.”

The Boston Red Sox Should Be Looking for a Pitcher

The Red Sox rotation appeared to lack much competitive potential, particularly after the loss of Giolito.

The team is now projected to see Brayan Bello, Nick Pivetta, Kutter Crawford and Tanner Houck receive most of the starting opportunities. None of those players maintained an ERA below 4.00 last season and the team lost two of its top-three leaders in quality starts from 2023, with James Paxton joining the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chris Sale traded to the Atlanta Braves.

The Red Sox have been in “constant contact” with Montgomery, as reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, but he’s projected to cost more than $100 million. As a result, Lorenzen might be the more likely addition.

Michael Lorenzen’s Projected Cost Could Make Him a Good Fit With the Boston Red Sox

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic projected that Lorenzen is “in the range of a $20 million guarantee” assuming he receives an increase in his average annual value from 2023 on a two-year deal. And Murray noted that, while Lorenzen is focused on earning that two-year deal, he is still unlikely to receive as much as New York Mets pitcher Sean Manaea, who received a two-year, $28 million contract this offseason.

“I expect, if the Red Sox add a starting pitcher, it will be in the mid-tier or less category,” Murray wrote. “Lorenzen won’t get the same money as (Sean) Manaea, which bolsters his fit in Boston.”

In nine big-league seasons, Lorenzen has maintained a 4.11 ERA and racked up 602 strikeouts across 69 starts. In 2023, he began the season with the Detroit Tigers, receiving an All-Star nod and bolstering his value with a 3.58 ERA in 18 starts before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. 

He threw a no-hitter in his home debut for the Phillies but was unable to maintain his strong start and was ultimately hit for a 5.51 ERA in seven starts with Philadelphia before hitting free agency. Baseball Reference projects that Lorenzen will pitch for a 4.34 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 137 innings in 2024, likely putting him in the middle of the pack for the Red Sox starters.

With a clear on-the-field need for more arms and a lackluster offseason that suggests the Red Sox front office is looking for frugal solutions, Lorenzen might continue his career in Boston this season.

“Boston already has cut its payroll and has plenty of wiggle room but doesn’t seem like it wants to spend on anyone,” Patrick McAvoy wrote for FanNation’s Inside The Red Sox. “A short-term deal with Lorenzen could make a lot of sense and could be in the club’s range.”

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