Michael Lorenzen agrees to one-year deal with Los Angeles Angels

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At the end of the regular season, Michael Lorenzen had a couple of goals for his first trip through free agency.

Lorenzen wanted an opportunity to be a starting pitcher after a shoulder injury derailed his chance with the Cincinnati Reds this year and he preferred to play on the West Coast.

He reportedly received his wish. Lorenzen agreed to a one-year, $7 million contract with his hometown Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, pending a physical, according to a report from FanSided. The Angels use a six-man rotation with American League MVP Shohei Ohtani in a two-way role and they've been hunting starting pitching all offseason.

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Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen (21) snags a come-back bouncing ground ball off the bat of Miami Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. (2) in the ninth inning of the MLB National League game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Miami Marlins at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021. The Reds took the lead and won, 3-1, on two solo home runs from Mike Moustakas and Tyler Naquin.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen (21) snags a come-back bouncing ground ball off the bat of Miami Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. (2) in the ninth inning of the MLB National League game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Miami Marlins at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021. The Reds took the lead and won, 3-1, on two solo home runs from Mike Moustakas and Tyler Naquin.

Lorenzen, who will turn 30 in January, was the fourth-longest tenured Reds player when the season ended behind Joey Votto, Tucker Barnhart and Eugenio Suárez. He had a 23-23 record and a 4.07 ERA in seven years with the Reds, used mostly as a multi-inning reliever.

The Reds weren't expected to re-sign Lorenzen after he entered free agency. Payroll was a driving factor in the club's decisions to trade Tucker Barnhart and place Wade Miley on waivers earlier this offseason.

Lorenzen, an All-American center fielder in college, joins an organization that created a successful model for a two-way player. Lorenzen hit .233 in 147 career plate appearances with seven homers and 24 RBI. He's started six games in center and the Reds deployed him as a pinch-runner.

After pitching an inning in his season debut, Michael Lorenzen was moved to the outfield and was injured running the bases.
After pitching an inning in his season debut, Michael Lorenzen was moved to the outfield and was injured running the bases.

He was set to begin the 2021 season in the Reds' starting rotation before a shoulder strain shut him down in spring training. He didn't make his season debut until July – he pitched through a grade 3 hamstring strain after injuring it in his debut – and he helped stabilize the Reds' bullpen for the final two months of the regular season.

Spring training injuries kept Lorenzen out of the rotation after his rookie season. He sprained a ligament in his elbow in 2016 and strained the teres major muscle near his right shoulder in 2018. He said he plans to change the way he prepares for spring training.

The Angels signed Noah Syndergaard to a one-year, $21 million contract earlier this offseason, hoping he will bounce back after pitching two innings in the last two years. Now they're putting their faith in Lorenzen to find success in a role he hasn't regularly done in a half-decade.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati Reds offseason: Michael Lorenzen signs with Angels