Lauer is an incredibly appealing reclamation project for the Red Sox. He was a strong rotation option as recently as 2022, but he took a major step back this past season as his walk and home run rates soared. If the Red Sox can work with Lauer and get him back to his 2022 form, they will have a solid rotation piece on their hands.
So what exactly went wrong for Lauer in his final season with the Brewers? One glaring concern is how infrequently he threw the slider. In 2022, he threw it 17.6 percent of the time, using it to induce a .205 xBA and 24.8 percent whiff rate. This past season, though, Lauer threw his slider only 66 times (7.8 percent). It was just as effective as in years past, yet he relied on it less. Instead, he threw more cutters. As a result, opponents feasted, slugging .568 when facing his cutter.
A shoulder injury did limit Lauer to just one outing from June through September, so the Red Sox will need to do their due diligence on his health before putting pen to paper. But if his physical goes well, the Red Sox have no reason not to sign Lauer in hopes that a retooling of his pitch selection will lead to results.