The Angels have been in contact with the Tigers about Rick Porcello, reports Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. The Pirates, Padres, Rangers, Phillies, Twins, and Royals also have interest in the right-hander, though Knobler says Detroit doesn't have interest in Pittsburgh closer Joel Hanrahan.
Drafted 23rd overall in 2007, the 23-year-old Porcello zoomed to the big leagues after just one season in the minors. He owns a 4.55 ERA with 5.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 120 starts and 691 2/3 innings. His 52.3% ground ball rate helps make up for the lack of strikeouts. Porcello earned $3.1MM in 2012 and projects to earn $4.7MM in his second trip through arbitration this winter. He's a Super Two and will be eligible for free agency after 2015.
The Tigers re-signed Anibal Sanchez a few days ago, rounding out a stellar front-four that includes also Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer. Porcello and Drew Smyly are the front-runners for the fifth starter's spot. The Angels have acquired Tommy Hanson and signed Joe Blanton this winter, but they're still looking for rotation depth behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson.