3) Michael Lorenzen
The Tigers took a chance on Michael Lorenzen last offseason, signing him to a one-year deal to pitch out of their rotation and it wound up paying off beautifully. The longtime reliever was an all-star for the first time in his career, and pitched well enough for the Tigers to sell high on him at the trade deadline.
A midseason trade to the Phillies allowed Lorenzen to start games for a contender in the middle of a playoff race. He pitched wonderfully for the Phillies in his first two starts before things all fell apart down the stretch. Five poor starts in a row forced a move to the bullpen for much of September, and Lorenzen was nothing more than a mop-up reliever in the postseason.
It was an up-and-down year for the 31-year-old. Setting career highs in starts and innings pitched is obviously a good thing, and Lorenzen being an all-star for the first time was cool, but when looking deeper, his season was pretty underwhelming. His base numbers were decent, but the underlying metrics were not as pleased with his performance. There's a whole lot of blue all over his baseball savant page.
He might've had a 4.18 ERA overall, but had a 4.55 xERA, a 4.46 FIP, and a 4.68 xFIP. He looked like a solid mid-rotation starter for much of the year, but really profiled as a fifth starter who isn't much better than the likes of David Peterson and Tylor Megill if at all.
He's never made more than 25 starts in a season and this was just his second time ever going past the 100-inning mark. Considering how poorly he finished, there's a good chance he simply ran out of gas down the stretch. The Mets signing him to what MLB Trade Rumors predicts would be a multi-year commitment when he has never pitched through a full season as a successful starter would not be wise.