Detroit Tigers sign Michael Lorenzen to a one-year, $8.5 million contract

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Michael Lorenzen delivers a pitch during the 2022 season.
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Michael Lorenzen delivers a pitch during the 2022 season. / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers set to sign right-hander Michael Lorenzen.

Do not panic, but this is not a drill! The Detroit Tigers have reportedly agreed to a one-year contract with a free agent. It's shocking but true. Scott Harris and his front office have found someone else to add to the mix for the 2023 season.

According to reports on Twitter, the Detroit Tigers have agreed to a one-year, $8.5 million contract with right-handed pitcher Michael Lorenzen, pending physical. The deal has $1.5 million in incentives that could help the deal rise to $10 million in total value, depending on his performance.

Lorenzen, 30, has been in the league for eight seasons. He spent most of that time with the Cincinnati Reds organization as a relief pitcher and occasional right-handed hitting outfield bat when needed. Most notably, he hit a home run in his first game, returning after the passing of his father.

Since settling into the big leagues, he was a relief arm, finding a spot in the Reds bullpen for several seasons. But last year, after signing with the Los Angeles Angels, he was converted back into a starting pitcher and ended up playing a role in their rotation. He underwent shoulder surgery missing two months but was able to return to the field healthy and get into a groove.

Lorenzen did not make a relief appearance. He started 18 games, totaling 97.2 innings pitched for the Angels as a starter. He would pitch to a 4.24 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP, punching out 85 hitters along the way. He may not be some lights-out starter, but he brings experience and the ability to start or throw out of the pen to the Tigers. Heck, he might even get an at-bat if the Tigers are in dire straits.

It seems like a deal that will ultimately boost the Tigers' pitching staff. You get another veteran arm to add to the pitching staff. He provides a boost to the rotation if need be and has shown he can handle it. He was not horrible as a starter and proved he could sustain the workload on his arm.

If the Tigers choose not to keep him in the lineup, Lorenzen has a resume of pitching out of the bullpen and should be able to find success there once again. And if the Tigers need a spot start but do not want to call up a young player to mess with his development, Lorenzen is there.

It seems like a worthwhile signing for the Tigers. It will be interesting to see how he factors into the team's plans in 2023, whether as a starter or reliever. Harris finally made a move, and it was a good one. Hopefully, there is more to follow!

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