Ranking the 5 starting pitchers the Cardinals could sign as Sonny Gray insurance

The Cardinals may need to add another starter here soon, so I ranked five options they could pursue.

Jun 27, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47)
Jun 27, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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#3 - Michael Lorenzen

Perhaps the second most exciting two-way player who hit the free agent market this offseason, Cardinals fans should be familiar with Michael Lorenzen from his days with the Cincinnati Reds.

The Cardinals would not be bringing in Lorenzen for his bat by any means, but he has proven to be a well-above-average starter when he's right, as recently as 2023 when he earned an All-Star nod with the Detroit Tigers.

In 18 starts with the Tigers last year, Lorenzen posted a 3.58 ERA in 105.2 innings of work, making good on the promise that the Reds saw in him for many years and pitching like a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

After being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, things looked incredible for Lorenzen after he threw a no-hitter in his second start with the team. Things instead trended down for Lorenzen, as he posted a 5.51 ERA in his 11 games with Philadephia and was relegated to the bullpen by the end of the regular season.

At his best, Lorenzen is very similar to Odorizzi, someone who is better than the Cardinals' current back-end of the rotation options but not a significant upgrade to this staff. I would not trust Lorenzen to start a playoff game for St. Louis in 2024, but he would help them get through the grind of the regular season.

I'm not sure how realistic this is though. Even though he does not have a job yet, I'm sure Lorenzen is looking for an opportunity to cement himself into a rotation, and there would be no guarentee of that with St. Louis. The Cardinals would also be better served going after a more significant arm.