With at least three teams already known to be interested in Tigers right-hander Michael Lorenzen, the New York Post’s Jon Heyman reports a fourth, noting that the Marlins are also in the mix. This tracks with yesterday’s report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal that Miami is on the lookout for starting pitching help.
The Marlins landed David Robertson from the Mets on Thursday, bolstering the relief corps for what the Fish hope will be a successful playoff run. Miami headed into the All-Star break with a 53-39 record and a solid grip on a wild card berth, yet an eight-game losing streak after the break undid a lot of that success. Now 56-48 after last night’s win over the Tigers, the Marlins are tied with the Giants for the last NL wild card slot, just a half-game behind the Phillies and Reds and a game up on the Diamondbacks.
While facing Detroit for this three-game series, the Marlins might also come away with one of their best starters. Lorenzen has a 3.58 ERA over 105 2/3 innings this season, aided by a solid 6.5% walk rate and a fastball with outstanding spin rate, if relatively average in velocity (94.3mph). Lorenzen’s .264 BABIP and his below-average 19.9% strikeout rate are factors in his higher 4.45 SIERA, but it is worth noting that he has been particularly sharp over his last four starts. The righty has a 1.14 ERA over 23 2/3 innings during those four outings, putting on a nice showcase for rival scouts.
A four-game losing streak has all but erased whatever small hope the Tigers have of making a late run in the AL Central, as Detroit is now 46-58 and 7.5 games out of first place. Besides Lorenzen, Eduardo Rodriguez, Chasen Shreve, and Jose Cisnero have also been targets for other teams, and all four of these players will be free agents after the season (Rodriguez has an opt-out clause in his contract that he is expected to exercise).
Between Lorenzen’s rental status and the relatively inexpensive $3MM still owed to him in 2023 salary, he makes an attractive pickup option for just about any contender, particularly a Marlins team that is willing to spend but probably unlikely to truly splurge. Miami took on approximately $3.55MM in Robertson’s remaining salary, but the team’s overall payroll still sits below the $106.5MM threshold.