Texas Rangers sign 2023 All-Star to bridge first-half rotation gap

The Rangers beefed up their starting rotation with the addition of Michael Lorenzen.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Michael Lorenzen
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Michael Lorenzen / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Texas Rangers pulled off a late night signing after agreeing to a one-year, $4.5 million deal with Michael Lorenzen. Lorenzen's contract reportedly includes incentives that could see the deal top out at $7 million. The right-hander was languishing on the open market following an All-Star campaign in 2023.

Lorenzen was 9-9 with a 4.18 ERA and 4.46 FIP. The 32-year-old split the season between the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies. Lorenzen's 2023 season included a no-hitter and over 150 innings of work in what was his second full season as a starting pitcher.

Lorenzen isn't the blockbuster signing that the Rangers' fanbase was hoping for. Several fans throughout the Lone Star State were anxious to see Jordan Montgomery back in the saddle for the upcoming season. But Lorenzen is the perfect pitcher to bridge the gap between Opening Day and midseason returns of Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.

Texas Rangers sign 2023 All-Star Michael Lorenzen to bridge first-half rotation gap

While an All-Star last season, Lorenzen is not necessarily a frontline starter. But given Texas' starting rotation at the moment, the veteran can easily slide in alongside Dane Dunning and Cody Bradford. With Lorenzen signing so late in the spring, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Rangers push him into the bullpen to start the season.

Lorenzen has operated as both a starter and reliever. Most of Lorenzen's major league career had been spent with the Cincinnati Reds. Though Lorenzen was given a handful of spot starts and also played outfield on occasion, the California native spent the majority of his Cincinnati tenure as a member of the Reds' relief corps.

Wanting an oppoortunity to be a full-time starter, Lorenzen joined the Los Angeles Angels in 2022 and signed a free agent deal to join the Tigers' rotation last offseason before being traded to the Phillies. Throughout his career, Lorenzen has appeared in 69 games as a starter and 273 as a reliever.

Scherzer, deGrom, and Lorenzen's former teammate Tyler Mahle are all expected to return to the Rangers rotation later this summer. Until then, Lorenzen can help keep the Rangers rotation afloat. The Rangers title defense begins next week with Nathan Eovaldi getting the ball on Opening Day.

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