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!).
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
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.