The starting pitching market this offseason was easily the deepest group in free agency this year. In an ideal world, San Diego would be able to replace a guy like Snell with one of the high-end options that were on the market. However, the Padres' payroll situation made that option a nonstarter, so they are going to have to get creative to cover innings in the rotation, and one intriguing option is free agent Michael Lorenzen.
Lorenzen was named to his first All-Star team last year primarily because someone on the Tigers had to go and the best option for them in Eduardo Rodriguez was hurt at the time. However, there's enough to like about Lorenzen to think that he could be a nice target ahead of 2024 assuming the Pads can get him to sign a short-term deal at a decent rate.
Before he was traded at the deadline to the Phillies, Lorenzen was pretty good with the Tigers with a 3.58 ERA in 18 starts. His numbers after the trade weren't good, but he did throw throw a no-hitter with the Phillies and he has still been a guy that fills up the strike zone, has a previous history of keeping the ball on the ground, and can get hitters to chase.
Pitching in San Diego could suit Lorenzen really well even if the jump in his fly ball rate from 2023 sticks. He doesn't miss as many bats, but the Padres are set up well defensively with guys Ha-Seong Kim and Manny Machado around. Playing home games at Petco Park should help the cause as well. It will take something like two years and $25 million to sign Lorenzen, but that seems like it should work within San Diego's financial constraints and could be a worthy gamble.