Michael Lorenzen and the Reds avoided arbitration.
Our friend Robert Murray from FanSided brings good tidings to Reds Country this afternoon. The Cincinnati Reds and right-handed pitcher Michael Lorenzen have reported agreed on a one-year deal worth $4.44M. The question now becomes, will Lorenzen be a starter or a reliever in 2021?
Today is the deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange figures. Entering the day, Cincinnati had six players up for arbitration. Earlier today, the team agreed to a one-year $1.175M contract with fellow right-hander Noé Ramirez; a player Cincinnati acquired earlier this offseason when the team dealt Raisel Iglesias to the Los Angeles Angels.
Lorenzen represents the second deal Nick Krall and the front office agreed to today. Hopefully, by day’s end, Cincinnati will have locked up the remaining four players (Jesse Winker, Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, and Amir Garrett) who are up for arbitration this season. The remaining four players are all entering the arbitration process for the very first time.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, Lorenzen was projected to make between $3.8M-$4.4M for the upcoming season. As FanSided’s Robert Murray suggested before the day began, there is hesitancy among both the players and front office executives to go into arbitration hearings this winter, so a flurry of signing are expected today.
This is Lorenzen’s last go-round through the arbitration process, as the right-hander will become a free agent after the season unless the Cincinnati Reds decide to sign the 29-year-old to a longterm extension.
Last season, Lorenzen got off to a horrendous start. However, the California native bounced back quite well and showed enough to possibly garner a spot in the starting rotation for the 2021 season. Lorenzen’s ERA was sitting at 16.88 after seven appearances out of the bullpen in 2020, but he regained his confidence and finished the season with a respectable 4.28 ERA.
Of his 18 appearances last season, two of them were starts. On both occasions, Michael Lorenzen went into the fifth inning. The right-hander showed great promise in both starts, posting a 2.79 ERA over 9.2 innings of work, striking out 14 batters while walking just two.
Lorenzen will be a fight for that fifth and final spot in the Cincinnati Reds rotation. It’s assumed that he may have the inside track, but Tejay Antone, José De León, and others will also get their chance.