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RHP Michael Lorenzen joins Texas Rangers, giving the World Series champs another starter

 The Associated Press  |    Mar 22nd, 2024 2:17pm EDT

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Free agent right-hander Michael Lorenzen finalized a $4.5 million, one-year contract and joined the Texas Rangers on Friday, giving the World Series champions another starting pitcher less than a week before the opener.

Lorenzen can earn $2.5 million in performance bonuses for innings: $200,000 each for 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100; $300,000 for 120, $350,000 for 140; $400,000 for 160 and $450,000 for 180.

It was unclear when Lorenzen will be ready to pitch, but is expected to slide into the rotation. They go into the season with Cy Young Award winners Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer recovering from injuries and out until at least summer. All-Star right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who was 5-0 in the postseason last year, will be their opening day starter Thursday against the Chicago Cubs.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Rangers put deGrom on the 60-day injured list as he continues his rehab from right elbow surgery last June.

The 32-year-old Lorenzen was a first-time All-Star last season with the Detroit Tigers, then was traded to Philadelphia at the deadline and threw a no-hitter against Washington in his second start for the Phillies, his first at home. He was 9-9 with a 4.18 ERA in 29 games, and was a starter until his last four appearances in relief.

In nine big league seasons, Lorenzen is 40-38 with a 4.11 ERA in 342 games. After making his big league debut starting 21 of his 27 games as a rookie with Cincinnati in 2015, he pitched in relief until joining the rotation for the Los Angeles Angeles in 2022.

The Rangers had been set to go into the season with Eovaldi at the top of a rotation, with Dane Dunning, Jon Gray, Andrew Heaney and Cody Bradford.

“The group we have is the group we have,” general manager Chris Young said last week of those starters.

Texas hasn’t re-signed left-hander Jordan Montgomery, its deadline acquisition last year who remains a free agent.

Scherzer (back surgery), deGrom and offseason addition Tyler Mahle are all rehabbing this spring. Mahle signed a two-year deal coming off Tommy John surgery last May.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb