2 starters the Reds could sign to a one-year deal, and 1 to avoid altogether

Rather than signing a starter for multiple seasons, the Reds may prefer to ink a pitcher to a one-year pact.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Michael Lorenzen
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Michael Lorenzen / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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The starting pitching market has been rather intriguing to start the offseason. Aaron Nola and Sonny Gray both landed massive paydays from the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively.

However, there've been some one-year contracts tossed out this winter as well. The Cardinals signed both Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson to one-year deals with a team-option, and the Cincinnati Reds' pact with Nick Martinez amounts to a one-year contract as well since the right-hander can opt out after 2024.

But rather than chase a big-name in free agency or give up prospects in a trade for a pitcher like Tyler Glasnow or Shane Bieber, should Cincinnati settle for one-year deal with a mid-tier pitcher and allow their young core to continue to develop? If so, which starters could be had on a one-year deal and who should the Reds avoid?

The Reds could sign Noah Syndergaard to a one-year deal

FanSided's Robert Murray, during an appearance on Foul Territory, mentioned that Noah Syndergaard as a pitcher who's received interest from teams who believe he can bounce back following an atrocious season in 2023.

This would be a bit of an odd choice, but one would have to assume that the amount of guaranteed money offered to Syndergaard would be very little. Last season, Syndergaard was 2-6 with 6.50 ERA and just 56 strikeouts in less than 100 innings pitched.

However, in 2022, Noah Syndergaard looked mildly similar to the pitcher we're used to seeing on the mound. While splitting time between the Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies, Syndergaard went 10-10 with a 3.94 ERA in 134.2 innings of work.

The days of Thor are over. Syndergaard relies much more on pitching to contact than he does overpowering hitters. According to Baseball Savant, Syndergaard's average velocity on his heater was just 92.2 mph. But, the right-hander did a great job of keeping the base paths clear of free runners with a walk-rate of just 4.9-percent.

The free agent market is filled with teams looking to acquire some top-flight talent. A pitcher like Syndergaard, who's still just 31 years old, could look to sign a one-year, incentive-laden agreement and then enter free agency again after the 2024 season.

Perhaps the Reds would offer the perfect bounce-back opportunity for Syndergaard, while not tying up so much salary that it would prevent Cincinnait from allowing pitchers like Andrew Abbott and Connor Phillips the chance to develop.

The Reds could sign Michael Lorenzen to a one-year deal

Some Reds fans will hate this idea, while others will absolutely love it. But whether you're a fan of Michael Lorenzen or want him to stay as far away from Cincinnati as possible, a reunion with the right-hander could be on the horizon should the Reds extend a one-year offer.

Lorenzen obviously has familiarity with the Cincinnati Reds organization. But after working almost exclusively as a reliever while pitching for ther Reds, in recent years, the former first-round pick has tried his hand as a starter.

In 2022, Lorenzen toed the rubber for the Los Angeles Angels. Last season, Lorenzen signed with the Detroit Tigers, but was ultimately traded to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Lorenzen actually pitched a no-hitter for the Phillies last season, but then his production dropped off and the hard-throwing right-hander fell out of favor with manager Rob Thompson. Lorenzen was relegated to a bullpen role to close out his 2023 campaign.

While Michael Lorenzen will undoubtedly be looking to secure a multi-year deal this offseason, that may not be in the cards for the southern California native. The best Lorenzen might be able to find would be a deal similar to that of the Reds recent addition, Nick Martinez.

Lorenzen could fill a very similar role with the ability to operate as a starter or come out of the bullpen. As the Reds continue to develop some of their young pitchers, Lorenzen could help bridge the gap and give the team qualtity innings in 2024.

The Reds should avoiding signing Jack Flaherty to a one-year deal

Jack Flaherty was one of the best pitchers in the game several years back. But injuries have turned Flaherty's career upside down. Flaherty suffered an oblique injury in 2021 and battled through a shoulder issue as well.

That should injury carried over into 2022 and the right-hander was sidelined for almost the entire season. Flaherty entered his final year of arbitration last season, and rather than lose him for nothing in free agency, the St. Louis Cardinals traded the right-hander at last year's trade deadline.

After making the switch to the Baltimore Orioles, Flaherty saw a mix of starts and relief appearances. In total, Flaherty logged 144.1 innings and posted a 4.99 ERA and posted a walk-rate above 10-percent.

Flaherty allowed 17 balls to leave the yard in 2023, but according to Baseball Savant, that number would've been 28 at Great American Ball Park based on expected home runs by park.

Jack Flaherty grew up in California and there are rumors about the right-hander wanting to return to his home state. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who need pitching in the worst way, would seem like a logical destination for the former Cardinals starter.

The Cincinnati Reds should be kicking the tires on almost every free agent available this winter, but Flaherty is not the answer. For the Reds sake, hopefully president of baseball operations avoids signing Flaherty to a one-year deal.