One realistic remaining free agent at each position for the Pirates to pursue

The free agent market still has some realistic remaining options for the Pirates to pursue.

Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One
Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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Starting Pitcher- Michael Lorenzen

The Pirates have been connected to a few starting pitchers, but one is Michael Lorenzen. Lorenzen’s 2023 season was a tale of two seasons. He opened the season in arguably the most pitcher-friendly environment you could possibly think of in 2023 but then ended it in one of the most hitter-friendly environments of 2023.

Lorenzen owned a 3.58 ERA, 3.86 FIP, and 1.10 WHIP with the Detroit Tigers this past season. He only had a 19.9% strikeout rate, but he dished out a free pass to a meager 6.5% of opponents. Plus, he had a solid 0.94 HR/9 rate. Then he got traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, where he then went on to post a 5.51 ERA, 5.81 FIP, and 1.46 WHIP in 47.1 innings. His strikeout rate fell to 13.6%, while his walk rate rose to 9.7%, and his HR/9 jumped to 1.71.

But the difference in environment couldn’t have been much more different. Comerica Park is one of the largest parks in baseball and is considered a pitcher's haven. Meanwhile, Citizens Bank Park is a hitter’s paradise. The Tigers had +22 DRS and -8 OAA as a team, while the Phillies had -30 DRS and -3 OAA. The American League Central had just one team finish above .500. The National League East had three teams with a .500+ record, including the 104-win Atlanta Braves.

Lorenzen would have a much more pitcher-friendly environment if he signed with the Pirates. PNC Park is much less hitter-friendly compared to Citizens Bank Park, the Pirates’ defense is much better than the Phillies’, and the National League Central probably won’t have the best team in MLB competing in the same division.

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