Why we shouldn’t dismiss the Mets rumors connecting them to free agent Michael Lorenzen

Michael Lorenzen actually makes sense for the Mets if they're willing to spend anything more.
Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies
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Will the New York Mets sign another pitcher? Immediate Mets rumors came out after the injury to Kodai Senga claiming they would go internal. However, as days have gone on, the discussion seems to have leaned toward the possibility of the team actually making a bigger punch at adding some starting pitching depth.

In comes the name Michael Lorenzen to join the latest Mets rumors. We shouldn’t be as dismissive of him signing with the Mets as we can safely be with bigger names such as Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery. Lorenzen will cost pennies in comparison.

An All-Star with the Detroit Tigers and two-start hero for the Philadelphia Phillies with a no-hitter in his second game after an already dominant outing, Lorenzen’s market has been cold due in part to how badly he pitched after August 9 of last season. This isn’t a guy with a huge track record of success. This could cause him to fall right into the Mets’ laps.

Mets rumors say they’ve checked in on Michael Lorenzen, here’s why it makes sense

The Mets shouldn’t pay Lorenzen the kind of money he’d hope to get as a starter. He probably does deserve a little more than an average reliever. Somewhere in the middle and a contract with some incentives for innings pitched on a second year could suffice.

Turning Lorenzen into the kind of role Adrian Houser had with the Milwaukee Brewers is one way to handle him this year. Much of his career was spent pitching in relief for the Cincinnati Reds. The results have been up and down.

No stranger to change, Lorenzen tried his luck at becoming another two-way player back in 2019. Coincidentally an Anaheim native of all places, he struggled to have any sort of impact like the stud representing his hometown, Shohei Ohtani. He batted only .208/.283/.313 in 53 plate appearances while spending some time in center field for the Reds. He has had only two plate appearances since so please don’t think he’d have this sort of role on the Mets.

Where Lorenzen could fit best is a competitor for the fifth starter role to begin the season and a bullpen arm thereafter. If any sort of second year is included in his contract based on incentives or guaranteed, it would have to be exclusively as a relief arm. Think of him as the 2024/2025 version of Trevor Williams if you’re not convinced.

The signing of Lorenzen, or most free agents at this point, does raise some important questions. Is he even better than what the team already has? The bullpen isn’t exactly vacant with several DFA candidates already on the bubble regardless of how they perform in spring training. Injuries fix this. Using a minor league option on Shintaro Fujinami is another way to get Lorenzen onto the roster early. Considering Fujinami had to leave the team to deal with a visa issue back home, his late start to spring seems like the perfect excuse to start him off in Syracuse.

If the Mets could get Lorenzen on a minor league or split contract, it’d be ideal. They could use the depth. The likelihood just seems slim he'd accept a deal like this.

The way these Mets rumors end is likely with Lorenzen signing a cheap deal with another team or David Stearns pounces following an injury to one of the projected Opening Day pitchers. With Lorenzen, it might not matter as much if it’s a starter or reliever they lose. He’ll be nothing more than a spot starter for them. Every Mets fan knows those spots will be more frequent than expected.