Orioles interested in former Tigers pitcher as free agent pool dwindles

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We recently revisited the Tigers-Phillies trade that sent Michael Lorenzen to Philadelphia in return for prospect Hao-Yu Lee and reflected on Lorenzen and Lee's simultaneous decline and rise, respectively. Lorenzen had a brilliant start with his new team, it's true, but the Phillies ultimately lost that trade after his performance sunk and his ERA rose. If Lorenzen had been able to maintain the hot streak he found when he first got to Philly, the market might be hotter for him than it is now.

However, it's been almost three months since the free agency signing period opened, and Lorenzen hasn't garnered much interest. Before he was able to dig up the brilliance that led him to a no-hitter in his second start with the Phillies, he was a pretty average starter at the middle of the Tigers' rotation. Serviceable, surely, but maybe not much to write home about (as well as an accidental All-Star).

But despite the early abundance of starting pitchers, the free agent market has finally started to thin out. The Tigers are all set and probably wouldn't have welcomed him back even if they weren't, but another team does seem to be interested in Lorenzen's services for 2024. Per Jon Morosi, the Orioles have become the first to publicly express interest.

Orioles interested in former Tiger Michael Lorenzen as free agents come off the market

The Orioles have a couple of young pitchers in their rotation. Grayson Rodriguez got off to an okay start last year, and Kyle Bradish had a very good second season. Dean Kremer and Tyler Wells will also be expected to come through for the team next year, but their fifth rotation spot is still up for grabs. At the moment, John Means looks likeliest to take it, but he only pitched 23 2/3 innings last year after coming off of surgery. The Orioles also lost a veteran atop their rotation in Kyle Gibson, who signed with the Cardinals in free agency, so that could be what they're looking for in Lorenzen. O's fans likely wish they'd Cease these Lorenzen talks and aim a little higher.

Putting Lorenzen in a relief role is also an option; he finished his time with the Phillies in the bullpen ,and mostly made his career on relieving until the Angels converted him in 2022. There still may be some upside there if he can manage to get even just a little closer to the level he reached for the no-hitter, but it's more likely that whatever team that does actually sign him won't get their expectations up that high.