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Cincinnati Reds avoid arbitration with Michael Lorenzen

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No awkward arbitration hearing for Mikey’s biceps this year.

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to submit their 2020 contract offers and demands was today, January 10th, and naturally that led to many instances of the two sides doing serious negotiating. The Cincinnati Reds, in particular, had five such players going through this process this year, and at least they managed to strike a deal with one of them and avoid a potential awkward arbitration hearing.

According to The Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale, the Reds and Michael Lorenzen agreed to a contract for the 2020 season, settling on $3.725 million.

Lorenzen, going through the arbitration process for the second time, was projected by the fine folks at MLB Trade Rumors to earn some $4.2 million for 2020, so this deal falls into the category of not exactly ‘found’ money for the Reds in their budget, but ‘able to potentially be reallocated elsewhere,’ or something similar.

Cincinnati’s former 1st round pick from back in 2013, Lorenzen put up his best full-season in 2019, pitching to a 2.94 ERA (156 ERA+) across 83.1 IP, including a career-best 9.2 K/9. On top of that, he picked up a 53 PA and logged 89 innings in the outfield as a two-way player, something manager David Bell has hinted we’ll likely see more of in 2020 and beyond, too. All told, that was good for 2.4 bWAR.

As for the rest of the Reds arb-eligibles, stay tuned, as we’ll find out more on their statuses this afternoon.