July 03, 2011; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello (48) pitches during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers May Be Finding Trade Market For Rick Porcello To Be Soft

Rick Porcello’s name has been batted around in trade rumors by various reporters from various outlets since the team re-upped with Anibal Sanchez last month, but it’s not sounding like the Detroit Tigers and their various potential trade partners are seeing eye-to-eye on his value.

The Tigers were reportedly keen on Baltimore shortstop J.J. Hardy, but the Orioles have shut the door on that front. Jon Paul Morosi gave us this news a couple of weeks ago:

The Baltimore Orioles aren’t interested in trading shortstop J.J. Hardy to Detroit for starter Rick Porcello.

They may be more willing to trade closer Jim Johnson.

We’re not told if reliever Jim Johnson was an actual counter-offer by Baltimore or if Morosi was merely suggesting names, but either way nothing has materialized on that front. Detroit apparently isn’t content for a relief arm in return for Porcello – they had already rebuffed Pittsburgh’s offer of Joel Hanrahan earlier in the offseason – and we wouldn’t be content with it either.

Talk of Porcello and the Tigers – who are apparently dead set on finding a shortstop in return – shifted to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Arizona had reportedly been interested in Porcello early on, and there were rumors floating around that they had acquired shortstop prospect Nick Ahmed from the Atlanta Braves in the Justin Upton swap in order to flip him to the Tigers. But these rumors only lasted a day or so before Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers shot them down.

The Detroit Tigers, one of the teams that like Ahmed, wanted him as part of a package for right-hander Rick Porcello, according to major-league sources… Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers, however, all but dismissed the idea of acquiring Porcello on Thursday, saying the team no longer was looking for starting pitching after acquiring Delgado.

Now we find out, per Ken Rosenthal, that the San Diego Padres, who hadn’t yet produced a strong Rick Porcello rumor though they seemed to be “a fit”, would likely not be interested in him.

Porcello might command $9 million to $10 million in 2014 if he enjoys a breakout season — and many low-revenue clubs would balk at that price.

The San Diego Padres are one such club that is likely to pass on Porcello in favor of more cost-effective solutions.

Rick Porcello seemed to be a hot name on the trade market a couple of weeks ago, but we’ve been hearing more about teams not being interested or not finding a fit than we have potential matches. I’m not sure if that’s because the market for him is truly soft, or that the team is simply holding a high standard for the return package. The Tigers certainly can trade Porcello, but they by no means need to.

They may have “excess” starting pitching, but that’s never a bad thing, and they don’t have so much that they would want to trade him for whatever sort of player they happen to be offered. Porcello brings real value to the 2013 Detroit Tigers, so, if a truly great trade offer doesn’t come along, holding on to him would be the smart move.

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