If not Jordan Montgomery ... the Red Sox should sign Michael Lorenzen or trade for a pitcher
If Boston misses out on Montgomery or plainly refuses to pay his price, all hope does not have to be lost. Other options remain to help bolster the Red Sox's rotation.
Michael Lorenzen is one of the best remaining free-agent pitchers on the market — besides Montgomery and Blake Snell, of course — and he would add a much-needed left arm to the Red Sox rotation. Despite serving as a reliever for many years, Lorenzen has the proven capacity to pitch at a starter quality and quantity.
The lefty would come at a cheaper price than Montgomery and he'd likely want to sign for fewer years. He earned an All-Star nod for his work with the Tigers at the beginning of the season, but his stuff declined as the year went on and his tenure with the Phillies did not end on a good note. Lorenzen threw a no-hitter against the Nationals and he didn't pitch as well again afterward. He was removed from the starting rotation after posting a 7.96 ERA in his five starts following the no-hit bid.
If Lorenzen doesn't suit the fancy of the front office — which he should because any arm would improve the staff, at this point — the Red Sox are also more than capable of trading for a starter. The Orioles' blockbuster trade for Corbin Burnes could have dramatically lowered prices throughout the league without meaning to.
The Mariners have been taking calls for Bryan Woo and Bryce Miller, two promising young starters in their organization. They need infield prospects, which the Red Sox hoard in excess. The White Sox have also been listening on Dylan Cease, and while they've allegedly been asking for steep prices, they're losing leverage by the day.
The Red Sox prospect pool contains few pitchers and the organization does not rank favorably in that category. Signing Lorenzen for a low price or trading for a young pitcher could give Boston a hurler that it desperately needs with years of team control. If the Orioles can part with prospects from their top-of-the-league pool, the Red Sox can part with some from their less impressive farm for the sake of helping the team in 2024 and 2025, while creating lanes for more promising prospects.