5 Gerrit Cole replacements the Yankees can sign immediately

Gerrit Cole could miss time with an elbow injury, so keep an eye on these free agents.

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees
Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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3. Yankees can hope Michael Lorenzen returns to All-Star form

Another affordable vet in need of a prove-it opportunity, Michael Lorezen could fit the Yankees hand-in-glove. The 32-year-old made the All-Star team last season with the Detroit Tigers before getting dealt to Philly at the trade deadline. Lorenzen went 4-2 in 11 games (seven starts) with the Phillies, but his ERA plummeted from 3.58 to 5.51 and, by season's end, he was a permanent fixture in the bullpen.

The Yankees can hope Lorezen returns to pre-deadline form, effectively mixing his mid-90s fastball and mid-80s slider to land batters on the punch-out reel. Lorenzen posted an encouraging chase rate last season (30.1 percent, 67th percentile), so he's still getting batters to swing outside the strike zone.

Consistency is the main concern with Lorenzen, who began his career as a reliever before making the jump to full-time starting in 2022. Now, his future role is unclear. That said, it's rare for recent All-Stars to last this long into free agency with such a weak perceived market. The Yankees have a chance to unearth considerable value on a one or two-year contract that carries very little actual risk.

Even if he only functions as a temporary stopgap until Cole returns, Lorezen could be exactly what the Yankees need — a situational weapon who is comfortable swallowing his ego and shifting between roles as required.