Former Cincinnati Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen has emerged as a potential trade candidate with the August 1st deadline looming.
After spending the majority of his time as a relief pitcher in the Reds organization, Lorenzen returned home to pitch as a starter for the Los Angeles Angels in 2022. This season, Lorenzen was the Detroit Tigers lone All-Star.
Cincinnati is in the market for starting pitching. One of the most recent Reds rumors, provided by Jon Morosi of MLB Network, suggests that Lorenzen could very well make a return to the Queen City before the trade deadline.
Could this trade package be enough reunite Michael Lorenzen with the Reds?
Adding Michael Lorenzen back to the Cincinnati Reds roster would actually make a ton of sense. Lorenzen is a versatile pitcher who could start or come out of the bullpen and is only under contract through the remainder of the 2023 season. But what would take in order to land the former first-round draft pick?
The Reds are looking to give up as little as possible in order to patch a few holes on the roster. But in order to get something, you have to give up something in return.
Fans have to assume that any of the team's recent acquisitions are off limits. Prospects like Noelvi Marte, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Chase Petty, and Connor Philips are unlikely to be moved at the deadline.
But the Reds cannot expect to get Lorenzen, or any other major league caliber starting pitcher, for next to nothing. While not necessarily a top prospect, Justice Thompson has played well this season. The former North Carolina outfielder is hitting .250/.359/.440 at High-A Dayton.
A former sixth-round pick who doesn't have to be added to the 40-man roster until next season, perhaps Thompson can at least get the conversation started. But the Detroit Tigers will want more than that.
While dealing from the team's depth at shortstop would be ideal, you'd hate to see Cincinnati give up so quickly on a player like Victor Acosta or Leonardo Balcazar. Not to mention that would probably be an overpay for two months of Michael Lorenzen.
But a player like Joe Boyle might move the needle. Drafted in 2020, Boyle has an electric arm, but his control is nowhere near where it needs to be if he's to remain a starting pitcher over the long haul. After drafting so many hurlers this past week, perhaps Cincinnati could part with the flamethrower at the trade deadline.
If that duo doesn't do the trick, there are other prospects in the Reds farm system that the front office could consider trading in order to land Michael Lorenzen. Players like Ivan Johnson, Christian Roa, and Tyler Callihan should all be considered as options if it means securing another arm for the Reds starting rotation.