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NY Mets: 9 under the radar free agents the Mets should target

NEW YORK - APRIL 07: The home run apple is seen before the New York Mets play the Florida Marlins on April 7, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 07: The home run apple is seen before the New York Mets play the Florida Marlins on April 7, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen (21) throws a pitch in the ninth inning of the MLB National League game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Miami Marlins at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021. The Reds took the lead and won, 3-1, on two solo home runs from Mike Moustakas and Tyler Naquin.Miami Marlins At Cincinnati Reds

Signing Michael Lorenzen would add another flamethrower to the back of the Mets’ bullpen.

Lorenzen’s 2021 season was shortened by a baserunning injury, hopefully the last pitcher-baserunning injury with the universal DH likely coming in 2022. In 29 innings pitched, he allowed 26 hits, 18 earned runs, and 14 walks while striking out 21. His ERA was high at 5.59, but his FIP was 4.17, so he’s due for some positive regression.

Lorenzen came up as a starter, so he typically throws a lot of innings from the bullpen. From 2017 to 2019, he pitched at least 81 innings. His ERA also went down each of those years as he got more comfortable in the bullpen. 2019 was his best season, posting a 2.92 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, striking out a career-high 85 batters, and his ERA+ was 160.

He also has a starter’s arsenal at his disposal. He’s got a fastball that sits in the high 90’s, and cutter in the low 90’s, a changeup and slider that both sit in the mid-to-high 80’s, and a curve in the low 80’s that he doesn’t use very much.

Lorenzen didn’t pitch enough to register most Savant metrics, but the few he did have are good. His fastball velocity is in the 69th percentile, and his fastball spin is in the 89th percentile. His max exit velocity allowed was in the 76th percentile.

Lorenzen doesn’t have any options. He could be a setup guy or middle reliever, depending on what the Mets need and the health of everyone else in the bullpen. He has experience saving games, which is good for when Edwin Diaz isn’t available, but probably most of his appearances would come in the 7th or 8th innings.

He’s also played 96 innings in the outfield in his career, 81 of those coming in center field. He’s hit seven homers, driven in 24 runs, and compiled an OPS of .710. Lorenzen could occasionally play the outfield for us and swing the bat as well.

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