The Phillies are trading right-hander Michael Lorenzen from the Tigers for infield prospect Hao-Yu Lee, a source told MLB.com’s Jason Beck on Tuesday. The clubs have not confirmed the agreement. Lee is the Phillies’ fifth-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
Lorenzen and the Tigers agreed to a one-year, $8.5 million contract last winter to help him take the next step in his development as a full-time starter. The 31-year-old became an All-Star in Detroit while blossoming into a front-line starter who could eat up innings efficiently.
Lorenzen posted a 5-7 record, a 3.58 ERA and a 3.88 FIP in 18 starts. He threw 22 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings over a five-start stretch that ended last week, the longest such streak by a Tigers starter since Michael Fulmer’s Rookie of the Year campaign in 2016. Along the way, he cut down what was once a seven-pitch arsenal to focus on mixing fastballs, sinkers, sliders, sweepers and changeups for each opponent.
While Lorenzen’s starting success was eye-opening, his experience as a reliever over seven seasons in Cincinnati to begin his career made him an attractive target for contenders who could keep him in the rotation for the stretch run and then use him out of the bullpen for multiple innings in the postseason. Lorenzen is a free agent at the end of the season.