The Atlanta Braves ended this year’s deadline in whatever the opposite of a flurry is. They seemingly strengthened their bullpen by adding quality depth but ultimately didn’t do anything else. As a fun thought exercise, I wanted to present a player the Braves may regret not trading for when all is said and done in 2023.
Michael Lorenzen has been the epitome of solid this year. In his stint with the Tigers, he pitched 105 innings thus far with a 3.58 ERA and a WHIP barely over 1. This was after building on a solid year in 2022 where he showed he had the potential to be a reliable starter for the Angels.
Building towards August 1st, the Tigers were essentially begging to trade him. They had no use for him with their middling record and it was obvious. Lorenzen would ultimately be traded to the Braves' divisional rival Phillies for a second base prospect in Single-A with underwhelming tools. So why didn’t the Braves pounce considering what the Tigers got in return?
Lorenzen seems like a logical fit for this 2023 Braves team. He doesn’t affect your future plans at all and would have been cheap. He also would have provided the depth that this starting rotation has desperately needed throughout the season. Even if Max Fried returns healthy and is his normal self, you are relying on him to stay that way which is a tall order.
Also, once you get into October in a potential game four, by not trading for another starter you are likely committing to a Bryce Elder start (TBD on Kyle Wright obviously). Maybe the Braves are comfortable with that but I’m not sure I share those sentiments.
Lorenzen also has a lot of experience out of the bullpen as well. If he ended up not being needed as a starter in the playoffs, you have a natural fit for long relief or high-leverage innings which clearly was a need based on Alex Anthopoulos’ moves he ultimately made. One trade could have filled two potential roles….actually maybe three or four roles even.
Some may know this but Michael Lorenzen started his career in Cincinnati as a fairly successful two-way player. In 34 plate appearances in 2018, Lorenzen hit .290 with four home runs. On the mound, he posted a 3.11 ERA in 81 innings. That aspect of his career eventually morphed into the starting pitcher only that he is today but the proof is there.
All that to say, you could have used one roster spot and had a starter, reliever, solid defensive outfielder, and decent bat with one body added to the clubhouse. Instead, that goes to not only a rival but a team you could easily face again in the playoffs for the second year in a row…not to mention the team that eliminated you last year. Hopefully, we won’t look back and regret that decision come October.
What other players that were reportedly available do you think the Braves may regret not trading for?