Oct 24, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello (48) delivers a pitch during the eighth inning of game one of the 2012 World Series against the San Francisco Giants at AT

Tigers Potential Trade Partner: San Diego Padres

Okay, so I continue personal my quest to get either Rick Porcello or Drew Smyly traded somewhere else with the San Diego Padres. Well, not really, it doesn’t matter to me if the Tigers keep both guys, but it is the elephant in the Tigers locker room right now. I’m just putting out teams that are options for one of the young pitchers to land. The overwhelming thoughts of Tigers nation appears to want to look for parts that are going to help now. Personally, I would take prospects, which San Diego is certainly plentiful in that department. You will see when I rank them in my organizational rankings series (shameless plug!).

San Diego is in a different place than most teams on this list. They don’t appear to be in contention, but then again, neither did Oakland or Baltimore at the beginning of last season either. I would tend to think Drew Smyly is of more interest to the fiscally conservative Padres, simply because of more years of control.

Why the Tigers might be a trade match for the Padres.

Let me first make my case by simply saying this: The San Diego Padres actually signed Jason Marquis to a contract this off-season. Let’s let that marinate a bit. I’m sorry if that sounds disrespectful to Mr. Marquis, but his best days have been put behind him. If any ball park can help resurrect a career, it could be San Diego, but his stuff just isn’t that good anymore. Anyway, the top two starters in the San Diego rotation are Clayton Richard and Edinson Volquez. After that, it’s a pretty eclectic group of question marks. Involved in that are Anthony Bass, Casey Kelly, Eric Stults, and recently acquired Tyson Ross. Ross and Kelly have some injury history, but both have good stuff. Ross hasn’t really put it together though. Bass looks like a solid bet to be a 3rd starter for sure, and Stults had a good season last year, but isn’t someone you can expect that from at this point. Basically, there is room for another starter to join that mix. An established one at that.

Among the other possibilities for San Diego exists Robbie Erlin, who is one of the better starting pitching prospects in the upper minors for San Diego. Erlin had some arm issues last season, but came back pretty strong at the end of the year.

A more established starter like Smyly or Porcello could fit nicely right into the middle of the San Diego rotation, particularly Smyly who has fly ball tendencies and could take advantage of the spacious ball park.

Why the Padres are a fit for Detroit:

I am a bit in the minority at this point, but my belief is that the Tigers, if they do choose to trade Porcello or Smyly, they should take that opportunity to replenish their farm system a little bit. San Diego as I mentioned has a very strong one. They also have plenty of pitching prospects. If the Tigers could land a couple of prospects with some upside to help replenish the Tigers system I would take it. Guys like Adys Portillo and Keyvius Sampson are in particular intriguing because of their strong arms. Johnny Barbato and Burch Smith show intriguing strikeout numbers. Donn Roach is a ground ball specialist. Want a young SS? Jace Peterson is someone to look at.

The Padres also do have some guys that can help in the here and now as well. Personally, I am not in favor of moving Porcello, and especially Smyly, for a reliever and a platoon type guy, but it’s been thrown around. Chris Denorfia is a quality right handed hitter and in general is a pretty solid defender. They have relievers like Luke Gregerson and Nick Vincent that are intriguing as well. Those guys could help the Tigers in the here and now, but I would just rather hang on to the Tigers starters if that is all they can get.


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  • YODA777

    Marquis pitched for the Padres in 2012, and actually did pretty good, that is why the Padres resigned him. Furthermore, the Padres are looking for more of a Veteran pitcher and I would classify Porcello as more of a veteran pitcher then Smly; in addition, the Padres are full of left handed pitchers. I would suggest the Padres would rather have Porcello, then Smly; moreover, Smly is not anymore of an established starter then many of the Padre young arms. If the Tigers could get Greggerson [one of the best setup pitchers in MLB who could close] and Cabrerra [an athletic shortstop who led the N.L. in stolen bases in 2012] that would be a good start and since we are going for a World Series win, I would also take Denorifia over a pitching prospect. The Tigers have a few good starters coming through the minor league ranks to back fill Porcello’s loss. No way the Padres part with Peterson or Portillo at this point; however, I would think that Sampson might be available. Sampson most likely projects as a backend bullpen pitcher at the MLB level. Donn Roach is an interesting story, he had a terrific season across two levels [he did particularly well in the offense happy California League] last year before the Padres shut him down due to innings. One issue I have with the Padres is that at some point after the 2014 season, they will start to lose a lot of those good arms they have if they do not start turning them into MLB pieces now. While the Padres have very few elite level pitchers [Fried may be the only one, throw Portillo in there as well], they are simply loaded [could be as many as ten] with #3 and #4 starting pitching prospects, in addition, the Padre MLB starting rotation is also very young.

    • John Verburg

      they going to continue to start Cashner or use him out of the pen?

      • YODA777

        As you have probably heard, Cashner cut the tendons in his thumb while on a hunting trip. This is a stupid thing to do for any young baseball player, much less a player who the Padres wanted to pitch in Winter Baseball to get himself ready to compete for a starters role in 2013. If I had to guess, I would say that Cashner would start out in the bullpen; especially if, Greggerson is traded to the Padres. I think the chances are pretty high that the Padres become the Tigers dance partner in a trade for Porcello. Furthermore, if the Tigers have to sweeten the pot to get all three Padres [Gregerrson, Cabrera, and Denorifia] I would throw in a mid level prospect because those three Padre players completely fill any holes the Tiger roster may have. If Cabrera comes to the Tigers, the Tigers could then trade Peralta for the minor league prospects you suggest they need in your article.

        • http://twitter.com/CNHpadrefan Harry

          Do not expect a trade with 3 players from the Padres 25 roster for Porcello. Not going to happen. Forysthe also turn down winter ball forcing the Padres to keep Cabrera at least until they see how Forysthe handles SS.

          • YODA777

            Maybe not, but I bet the Padres would trade Caberra if it meant getting Porcello. I think Porcello would do very well pitching in Petco under Buddy Black and Darren Balsley. Porcello might even win 17+ games.