Yankees Have ‘Checked In’ on All-Star Free Agent Starting Pitcher: Report

Michael Lorenzen

Getty Michael Lorenzen could be a good fit in the Yankees rotation

The New York Yankees have a big hole to fill in their starting rotation after Gerrit Cole is slated to miss “one to two months,” according to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman.

The club was involved in trying to acquire Dylan Cease, according to USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale, but he was ultimately dealt to the San Diego Padres. However, with opening day approaching the Yankees need starting pitching. They have “checked in on Michael Lorenzen,” according to Heyman.

The Yankees have been linked to starting pitching even before Cole’s injury. The team made an offer to Blake Snell and had discussions with him months after as well, according to Heyman during a March 6 appearance on MLB Network.

Lorenzen was an All-Star with the Detroit Tigers in 2023 before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies.

State of the Yankees’ 2024 Rotation

It will be difficult for the Yankees to replace Cole, who, in reality, might be irreplaceable. Cole’s 2.53 ERA, 15-4 record and 209.0 innings pitched all led the American League.

The Yankees rotation without Cole includes Marcus Stroman, Carlos Rodón, Nestor Cortes and Clarke Schmidt. The fifth spot in the rotation could be filled by an in-house option like Cody Poteet, according to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.

The Yankees signed Stroman to a two-year, $37 million contract in free agency. Stroman is a candidate to start on opening day with Cole injured. He pitched to a 3.95 ERA across his 25 starts as a member of the Chicago Cubs.

Rodón, Cortes and Schmidt combined for a 5.48 ERA across their combined 58 starts in 2023. Rodón and Cortes spent time on the injured list in 2023 and neither man made 15 starts.

Lorenzen made 18 starts with the Tigers with a 3.58 ERA. After he was traded he made 7 starts for the Phillies. His first two starts were phenomenal. In his first start, he pitched 8.0 innings and allowed just two runs. His second start was a complete game no-hitter against the Washington Nationals.

Lorenzen would make five more starts, with a 7.96 ERA, before being used in a relief role. His final three relief outings of the regular season were scoreless. Lorenzen was 9-9 in 2023 and could serve as a starter in the middle or back of the rotation.

Michael Lorenzen’s Free Agent Market

Lorenzen is projected to earn a three-year $27 million contract in free agency, according to Spotrac. While free agents like Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery are still available, their price makes it “extremely unlikely” the Yankees sign them, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

The Chicago White Sox are also “engaged” with Lorenzen, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The White Sox traded Dylan Cease to the Padres on March 13 and will need another arm in the rotation. In a move even furthering the need, the club is also moving starter Michael Kopech to the bullpen, according to Nightengale.

Lorenzen can provide valuable innings for the Yankees. With Cole slated to miss only a month or two, as opposed to the whole season, a signing like Lorenzen makes more sense than the likes of Snell and Montgomery.

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