Rick Porcello Rumors
Here's the latest from the defending American League champions...
- Justin Verlander says he and the Tigers haven't begun discussing a contract extension but the right-hander wants to spend the rest of his career in Detroit, MLB.com's Jason Beck reports (Twitter link). Verlander's current deal (a five-year, $80MM contract) is up after the 2014 season.
- Also from Beck, the Tigers and manager Jim Leyland are likely to keep their year-by-year re-evaluation of Leyland's contract status going through at least the end of the 2013 season. Leyland has said that he wishes to take one-year contracts at this late stage of his career.
- Rick Porcello and Jhonny Peralta are both focusing on the upcoming season and not on trade rumors, George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press writes. Several clubs (most recently the Orioles and Diamondbacks) are reportedly interested in Porcello, while such teams as the D'Backs, Red Sox and Athletics have been linked to Peralta at various points this offseason.
- In regards to those Porcello rumors, Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers told reporters (including USA Today's Bob Nightengale) that while he'll listen to offers, it's doubtful that he will look to add more pitching since the newly-acquired Randall Delgado will compete for the fifth starter's job.
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The Diamondbacks will now try to package shortstop Nick Ahmed and a pitching prospect in a trade for the Tigers' Rick Porcello, a National League official told Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). Arizona acquired Ahmed in this morning's Justin Upton trade with the Braves.
Arizona has been known to have interest in the Tigers right-hander but prior to this trade it was reported that they were unlikely to land him. Detroit was seeking a shortstop in a deal for Porcello, so Ahmed could be the piece that facilitates a deal. The 24-year-old posted a 4.59 ERA with 5.5 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 53.2% ground ball rate in 176 1/3 innings this past season.
The 22-year-old Ahmed played at Class A this past season and posted a .269/.337/.391 batting line in 571 plate appearances. Baseball America named him the best defensive infielder in Atlanta's minor league system. Ahmed was the Braves' second-round pick in the 2011 draft.
12:21pm: It's unlikely the Orioles would acquire both Kubel and Porcello, Rosenthal writes in an expanded piece at FOXSports.com. Free agent left-hander Joe Saunders and trade candidate Alfonso Soriano are also possibilities, according to Rosenthal. Saunders seeks a three-year contract, but Soriano is the least likely option for Baltimore.
10:17am: The Orioles are pursuing a trade for Diamondbacks outfielder Jason Kubel, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). However, talks are not at an advanced stage. The Diamondbacks were looking to obtain young pitching from the Orioles for Kubel earlier in the month.
If the Orioles were to acquire Kubel, he'd be in the running for playing time at left field and DH along with Nate McLouth, Nolan Reimold and Wilson Betemit. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks would no longer have surplus outfielders if they send Kubel to Baltimore.
The Diamondbacks continue to weigh offers for Kubel and Justin Upton, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported yesterday. The Diamondbacks want to deal one of the outfielders sooner rather than later and they feel as though there’s a good chance of getting “suitable value” for Kubel if they decide to deal him, Olney reported. Rival executives view the Orioles as a possible match for Kubel.
Rosenthal notes that the Orioles also like Tigers starter Rick Porcello. However, the Tigers don't appear to be in a rush to trade the right-hander Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reported yesterday. The Diamondbacks are also among the teams that have been linked to Porcello this winter.
It's time for players such as Buster Posey, Mike Trout and Jason Heyward to get long-term contract extensions, Jim Bowden writes at ESPN.com. Many players, perhaps even some of those on Bowden's list, will sign extensions in the coming months, and MLBTR's Extension Tracker will document all of the deals. In the meantime, here are today’s links...
- Though Scott Rolen hasn't made a final decision about whether to play in 2013, he has told people that the Reds would be his top choice if he does return, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (Twitter link).
- CAA now represents reliever Boone Logan, MLBTR has confirmed. The Yankees recently avoided arbitration with the left-hander, agreeing to a one-year, $3.15MM deal for 2013. Be sure to rely on MLBTR’s Agency Database for all agency-related queries.
- The Tigers don’t appear to be close to trading Rick Porcello, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter links). Knobler adds that there’s no real pressure to move Porcello in the immediate future despite Detroit’s starting pitching depth. The Tigers have also been calling around trying to move Brennan Boesch, Knobler reports.
The Tigers avoided arbitration with Rick Porcello, agreeing to a one-year deal, MLBTR has learned. The right-hander will earn $5.1MM in 2013. He is a client of Excel Sports Management.
Porcello, 24, received a $2MM raise for his second time through arbitration, exceeding Matt Swartz's projection. The former first-round pick is under team control through 2016, though given recent rumors, he may spend his remaining arbitration years with another team.
Links from the only division in baseball that featured three 90-win teams in 2012...
- Rays executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he’s still looking to add a bat and, potentially, a reliever, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (on Twitter). The Rays could also settle some arbitration cases before Friday’s deadline for exchanging figures with eligible players.
- The Blue Jays seek a reliever for the back end of their bullpen, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter link). Heyman suggests setup relievers such as free agents Francisco Rodriguez, Matt Lindstrom, Matt Capps, Juan Carlos Oviedo, Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth could be fits.
- The Orioles aren’t interested in trading J.J. Hardy to the Tigers for Rick Porcello, but Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports wonders if Baltimore would consider dealing closer Jim Johnson to acquire the 24-year-old ground ball pitcher.
- The Yankees were "fired up" to hear that they're on track get a compensatory draft pick for losing Rafael Soriano to the Nationals, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter).
6:16pm: The Diamondbacks are unlikely to acquire Porcello, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (on Twitter).
10:53am: The Tigers would likely ask for a shortstop, a late-inning reliever or a right-handed hitting outfielder in a trade for Porcello, Morosi adds. Detroit doesn't appear to be a finalist for Scott Hairston, who could decide between the Yankees and Mets.
8:14am: The Diamondbacks have talked to the Tigers about trading for starter Rick Porcello, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Morosi confirms that the Mariners have also had talks with Detroit about Porcello. The Angels, Pirates, Padres, Orioles and Cubs have also been linked to Porcello this offseason.
The 24-year-old posted a 4.59 ERA with 5.5 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 53.2% ground ball rate in 176 1/3 innings this past season. He earned $3.1MM in 2012 and has a projected salary of $4.7MM for 2013. He’s under team control through 2015.
Arizona has many internal starting pitching options, including Ian Kennedy, Brandon McCarthy, Trevor Cahill, Wade Miley, Tyler Skaggs, Josh Collmenter and Patrick Corbin. Plus, Daniel Hudson could return from Tommy John surgery midseason. However, GM Kevin Towers has shown this offseason that he’s willing to add to apparent areas of depth. Last month Towers signed Cody Ross even though the Diamondbacks' outfield seemed full to most outside observers.
Aside from similar modest batting averages, you could hardly find two more different players than Harmon Killebrew and Luis Aparicio but it was on this day in 1984 that both AL Central greats were inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. Killebrew slugged 573 homers in his career and was a classic three-true-outcomes power hitter, while Aparicio hit just .262/.311/.343 in his career but made it Cooperstown on the strength of his defense (nine Gold Gloves) and speed, leading the league in steals nine times and finishing with 506 stolen bases in his career.
Here are some more notes from around the AL Central...
- The Indians were one of the teams interested in Kelvim Escobar before the right-hander signed a minor league deal with the Brewers earlier today, reports ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link).
- Indians chairman and CEO Paul Dolan has been officially named as the club's control person by Major League Baseball's owners, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Dolan is now officially the Tribe's person in charge of the team's operations and its adherence to league rules.
- The White Sox are looking to add a reliever and a left-handed hitter before the season starts, writes ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine as part of an online chat with fans that also covers a number of Cubs-related topics.
- In response to another fan question, Levine doesn't think the White Sox have any interest in Kyle Lohse.
- Rick Porcello's name has surfaced in many trade rumors since the Tigers signed Anibal Sanchez, but Jamie Samuelsen of the Detroit Free Press doesn't think the Tigers should move either Porcello or Drew Smyly since the team needs the pitching depth.
The Tigers and Cubs are discussing a potential three-way trade that would send Rick Porcello to Chicago with the Orioles as the third party, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The Tigers want Baltimore involved because they want shortstop J.J. Hardy and they don't feel that the Cubs have the necessary components to make it a two-team trade.
For the O's to part ways with Hardy in a deal, the Cubs would have to send pitching to the Orioles. However, Kubatko thinks that the O's will have to be overwhelmed by an offer in order to part with Hardy. Dan Duquette & Co. are happy with the left side of their infield and they don't intend on moving Manny Machado to shortstop this year.
The Orioles are also one of the teams that are interested in Porcello and it's logical to think that they could just hammer out a two-team swap with the Tigers instead. The Padres, Mariners, and Pirates have also expressed interest in the right-hander recently. The 24-year-old posted a 4.59 ERA with 5.5 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 53.2% ground ball rate last season and is under team control through 2015.
The Orioles showed serious interest in Justin Upton before talks with the Diamondbacks sputtered, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported last night. Here are some more of Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB...
- Rosenthal hears from one executive who expects the Padres to make another significant move. However, the Padres like their group of young starting pitchers and aren’t inclined to make a strong play for one of the remaining free agent starters. San Diego could still trade for a pitcher such as Rick Porcello, Luke Hochevar or Aaron Harang.
- Talks about a deal involving Upton and Chase Headley didn’t progress, Rosenthal reports.
- The Orioles continue seeking starting pitching and Joe Saunders remains a target. The Orioles also checked in on Porcello, according to Rosenthal.
- Though the Orioles spoke with Lance Berkman before he signed with the Rangers, they weren’t interested in spending big for the switch-hitting DH.
- Jeff Karstens, Derek Lowe, Aaron Cook and Jair Jurrjens are among the possibilities the Rockies are considering. The Rockies wouldn’t offer all of those pitchers Major League deals, however.
- Rosenthal suggests free agent reliever Rafael Soriano could be a longshot for the Rockies. Colorado would have to surrender its second round draft pick to sign the Scott Boras client.
- The Phillies continue seeking a right-handed hitting outfielder, Rosenthal reports. They’re still considering free agent Scott Hairston and trade candidates Alfonso Soriano and Vernon Wells. It’s possible the Phillies will go with platoons in both corner outfield positions.