Now that the Detroit Tigers have welcomed Anibal Sanchez back with a kind gesture of $80 million over five years, their payroll includes six proven starting pitchers. That’s one more than they need, and reports soon surfaced that the Tigers were consequently listening to inquiries on the availability of Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly. There’s no guarantee they’ll move anyone, but given Porcello could make about $4.7 million next season through arbitration, it seems intuitive Detroit will make an effort to discard him.
Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reported Monday that, within three hours of the Sanchez signing, the Tigers had already heard from a dozen teams on Porcello.
This morning, Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com wrote that the Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles and San Diego Padres had all contacted Dave Dombrowski about the right-hander. He relayed the belief that Seattle and Baltimore had more active interest than San Diego.
He said the Rangers had been asking for Porcello before the Sanchez deal, but ruled out shortstops Elvis Andrus or Jurrickson Profar as trade pieces.
The Angels, who could offer Peter Bourjos or Mark Trumbo from an outfield surplus, have since acquired pitching from Seattle in Jason Vargas. The Phillies added John Lannan to their rotation since sources relayed their interest in Porcello. Knobler wisely suggested enough suitors exist that Detroit shouldn’t need to partner with the Royals or Twins for a trade.
Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweeted Wednesday that the Pittsburgh Pirates had interest, but commented that a straight swap for their closer, Joel Hanrahan, wouldn’t entice Detroit. Knobler also wrote the Tigers “don’t like” Hanrahan. The Pirates have since added Francisco Liriano to their rotation regardless.
Some have speculated that the Chicago Cubs might be interested in Porcello, but they signed Edwin Jackson to a four-year deal yesterday. Troy Renck of the Denver Post has said the Colorado Rockies have some interest in Porcello, but it’s not particularly serious.
If the Tigers are going to trade Porcello, it appears right now the most serious bidders are the Mariners, Orioles, and Rangers.
Read more Porcello commentary at MCB: Matt Snyder wrote flipping him for a relief pitcher would be wasteful. John Verburg advocated the Tigers trading him even before they re-signed Sanchez. Chris Hannum believes moving him now would be selling low.