April 24, 2024

The Chicago Cubs missed out on another starting pitcher that was available on the open market.
For a while, it appeared like the Chicago Cubs had put potential late-season signings behind them and would enter the next season with their present team.

That appears to be a problematic strategy, given that they previously had a poor free agency period and are currently struggling with injuries to key players.

When it came to the pitching staff, Jameson Taillon’s back injury became a source of concern when it was discovered that he would start the season on the injured list. The Cubs were already changing their rotation, and there was speculation that they may make a late move to bolster this unit.

Of course, Jordan Montgomery was the most popular selection because he is the most prominent free agent pitcher left, but 2023 All-Star Michael Lorenzen would have also been an excellent choice.

Even if Taillon returns as soon as possible, Chicago intends to use a hybrid five- to six-man rotation, with Shota Imanaga easing into the Major League workload, which is different from Japan.

Lorenzen may have been utilized as the backend for this arrangement.

However, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the right-hander has agreed to terms with the Texas Rangers, the defending World Series champions.

What makes this revelation even more distressing for Cubs supporters is the low price he signed for.

Rosenthal claims the contract is for one year, $4.5 million, with $2.5 million in incentives that may raise the total compensation to $7 million.

If Chicago had wanted to, it could have simply struck this agreement.


Michael Lorenzen: Glass of water from forehead to floor without hands


According to Spotrac, the Cubs’ estimated payroll in 2024 is $226.3 million, which falls below the first level of the tax threshold of $237 million.

The lack of interest in signing additional arms, despite Taillon’s injury concerns, demonstrates that they believe in their minor league arms.

Ben Brown, their No. 11 overall prospect, is scheduled to begin the season in Triple-A and might be a possibility if more concerns arise. Luke Little might potentially play a role, with No. 2 prospect Cade Horton being the longshot.

However, seeing Lorenzen sign elsewhere would have been far more appealing to Chicago fans if the trade had not been so cheap.

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