Red Sox righty Rick Porcello tried to get the team’s interest in a new contract over the offseason, he tells Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. While the sides completed some background work, talks never gained traction.
Porcello says he and agent Jim Murray “expressed our willingness to take a discount” in order to expand the relationship. The club was not able to work out a scenario that made much sense from its perspective and ultimately did not put an offer on the table for the veteran starter.
As things stand, the 30-year-old is set to play out the final season of the four-year, $82.5MM deal he inked early in the 2015 season. He had just wrapped up his first spring with the Sox after being acquired earlier that winter for Yoenis Cespedes.
Porcello has to this point had an uneven tenure in Boston. He has been durable, taking all but a handful of his scheduled starts and twice topping 200 innings, but has only once posted a sub-4.00 ERA — a sparkling 3.15 ERA, 22-4 campaign in 2016. His once-excellent groundball rate has drooped, though he’s also generating more strikeouts than he did with the Tigers.
By some measures, last year was actually one of Porcello’s best in Boston. He easily set a new personal high-water mark with 8.9 K/9 and still managed a sturdy 44.1% groundball rate and stingy 2.3 BB/9 walk rate. With a 3.77 SIERA and 3.87 xFIP, Porcello was about as good from a peripheral perspective as ever before.
That said, Porcello’s outcomes have long lagged ERA estimators’ expectations. He has allowed 4.26 earned runs per nine in over three hundred career starts, and no longer has the advantageous mix of experience and youth that he did at the point of his prior extension.
It’s not terribly surprising to learn that the Red Sox weren’t particularly eager to work out a new contract. Having gone on to lock up Chris Sale, the team is committed to four starters for at least the next several years. Facing some budgetary restrictions, the team even reportedly considered dealing Porcello. The veteran hurler would surely be worthy of some kind of future investment, but perhaps not a significant one — in advance of the coming season, at least. It is not known what kind of annual payout the veteran hurler might have been seeking.
Porcello says he remains interested in remaining with the club and would be open to mid-season talks, though the team has signaled it isn’t inclined to do so. That leaves the righty preparing to “leave a positive last impression” in 2019. Even if he reaches the open market, it’s not hard to imagine a reunion, though both sides will perhaps first spend some time exploring alternatives.
I’m going to guess the next three comments are going to be from Yankees and Red Sox fans insulting each other.
But Porcello really isn’t that good. He’s not really worth an expensive extension.
Agree 100%. He has already hit his ceiling and the sox are best investing those extra dollars in the free agent market when his contract ends.
Agreed. Red Sox have Sale, Price, Eovaldi, and E-Rod. No need for Porcello. I’d rather extend Betts and Boegarts and get some free agents.
Totally wrong. Porcello is durable and saves the pen big time over the course of a season. The team would love to resign him but the priority has to be Cancer and Mookie first. DD will always build on starting pitching but barring injuries (a big question given Sales and ERod’s health history), I coukd see them moving on from Porcello which is why I previously posted about trading him to free up money for Kimbrel. A lot might depend on JDM. Assuming he opts out, his price could be too much with Bogue now and Betts next year and that could be the money for Porcello. Then again, if the bullpen flops that money could go to a closer. In short, the team needs flexibility unless he presents an offer they can’t refuse.
Porcello is a rock solid #3 am innings eater & was given a gift of 5 year 100 million deal. He performed to that level but did not exceed it. Anything more than a 4 year 60 million is wasted money. He doesn’t deserve a raise & he will not get 20 million per year in free agency. A true discount is 15 million a year. He can get 15 million in Free Agency but anything above that is huge over pay. Boston has too many guys needed to get paid. Mookie is not resigning so I would trade him at the deadline or they end up with draft picks that are 5 years away & less than a 50% they even make it. Scherzer turned down a deal he asked for in Detroit & then he walked. Tigers received a 1st round pick & it took him 4 years to make it but he’s nowhere near the player Scherzer is & the Tigers would not have fallen so far down if they traded him. Mookie is gone so trade him while he has some value.
Porcello only threw 191IP in 33 starts, not exactly a workhorse. He pitched into 7 inning only 9 times last year, and only 5x after May 1st.
Doom & Bloom
I agree they won’t sign Betts, but you don’t trade him if you are in a playoff race.
He gets a QO in the offseason from the Sox and then they’ll get the draft pick when someone overpays him.
He’s gone unless he’s really willing to take a big pay cut
I think this is a “Rick, we can finish out the year, but your position is probably going to be eliminated longer-term. You might want to spruce up your resume.”
Lol! Yeah, that’s how it should be. Our rotation is getting way too expensive and Porcello needs to get back to ace-level pitching instead of #3 level pitching.
Why do fans care so much about money that’s not yours? Chris Sale took a team friendly deal to keep more of the band together and apparently Porcello is also willing to do so. At least make him an offer. The Red Sox have gobs and gobs of money to spend.
If $30 million a year is a “team friendly deal”, what could he have gotten if he had pushed them to the wall?
Maybe you’re comparing against Verlander deal but he’s making another $3 Million/year and I wouldn’t call that a gulf of difference.
At these levels its all funny money anyway!
Considering Sale is coming off of a shoulder injury the industry thought the Redsox didn’t have to do that extension. The contract is anything but team friendly.
Not true. The Sox are within 2 million of the maximum tax threshold of 75%. Unsigned concerns are Bogaerts and Betts, JD Martinez, and both first basemen. The money isn’t there to keep everyone. Bogaerts, JD and a quality firstbasmen are goin to cost this team a fortune. Betts will likely be out of the equation as he will command 400 million plus. Right after that we’ll have Benintendi to deal with as well.
Of course the ‘industry’ thinks that. Maybe they are upset that the Red Sox locked up their ace and prevented other teams from making a bid on him? I don’t care what Olney thinks, that’s not how most reputable baseball news sources view the Chris Sale deal. And none of these other baseball executives have access to Chris Sale’s medical records, so I place litttle creedence on that.
@Intothemystic90 Because we understand what the team is thinking and what constraints they have with their budgets. Why do people always say “it’s not your money” when they know GMs don’t have unlimited funds? I don’t care if a billionaire owns a team – I know what a stupid GM’s line items are and it’s not $20 million a year over five years for an over 30, 3rd or 4th starter like Ricky Porcello.
Team friendly for Sale?
I agree with what you say except Betts should be a must unless he just wants out and takes less to leave. If JD opts out let him walk, will be easier to do if Devers takes a next step this season and delivers 30+ HRs. They have options already forfirst. Devers may move there and their top 2 position prospects knocking on the door both play corner infield. 3rd and 1st are covered from that group.
That’s a ridiculously best case scenario to say Devers can replace JDM and guys like Chavis actually pan out as quality big leaguers. Every domino falling in perfect is not realistic.
And with all the cash the Sox have locked up already, Betts is gone more likely than not. It’s a hard truth but it’s a truth nonetheless
The Red Sox made $500 million in revenue last year. The money most certainly is there.
When was he ever “ace level pitching” with a 4+ ERA?
2016. Read. Kate Upton is still crying.
Man, her tweet after the cy young announcement was pure gold
Still enjoyed that, think back KY
lol remember that time he won a cy young award
Which led to the greatest Kate Upton comment of all time.
She had a pretty good come back from the pictures I saw.
Verlander has been screwed out of two Cy Young a area by the Tampa writers who left him off ballots.
He better be willing to take a pay cut after the last deal they gave him.
I’d be itching for an extension if I were him too after the last two offseasons. 30-year old who had a fluke good season (and stole a CYA at that) but otherwise has been a mid-rotation guy is not looking at a lucrative multi-year deal.
Unless he can have a well-timed good season like Eovaldi, he’s probably looking at 1-2 years at a salary worth less than his production
“Stole” a Cy Young Award? Really? How much did Porcello pay someone to vote in his favor? Perhaps Rick has some guys who know people who know people who do stuff? Maybe Rick let a few voters in on the real nature of Verlander’s relationship with Kate? Maybe you’re simply a mindless dork.
Didn’t he win a Cy Young and yet Chris Sale has not? Makes you feel a little unsettled for some reason that greatness is not rewarded, yet a flash in the pan is – ala 2013 Red Sox WS, which in my opinion is probably the most undeserved Championship of any any team, in any sport in history, I know big comment – it was one of the most massively dysfunctional teams (and front offices) I think we can remember, and on paper should have been a 74 win team, like both the previous and following season, yet somehow, miraculously they pulled off that season. To this day, it still will never make sense to me.
2013 WS win is explained by two words: “DAVID ORTIZ”
In fairness the 2016 Cy Young should have gone to Verlander. But other than Porcello and Verlander it really wasn’t a great year statistically for pitchers in the American League.
I feel like the events that took place in Boston that year gave the team a lot more motivation than usual, which caused them to try even harder to win it all.
Thats funny, still burning you? They had the best record in the league then beat 3 of the other best teams in the playoffs. They didnt sneak into the playoffs, then get lucky breaks and bounces to get them through. As far as expected wins, those projections typically arent all that accurate.
Unexpected, yes. Underserved, absolutely not. Big difference. They earned that championship. They won 97 regular season games (tops in AL) and a very good Tigers team.
Always a big Porcello fan for his attitude and grit. Hopefully they work something out, but if not, I hope he has a great year and cashes in as a FA
No thanks. I’d only extend him if it were at a hometown discount. He’s only a #2 starter.
#2 is being generous. He’s the definition of an average starter. Hed slot in at the back of nearly every rotation in the league.
Is he a number 2 or 3? Because above you said 3?
He’s the number 4 now
“…yet a flash in the pan is – ala 2013 Red Sox WS, which in my opinion is probably the most undeserved Championship of any any team, in any sport in history, I know big comment – it was one of the most massively dysfunctional teams (and front offices) I think we can remember, and on paper should have been a 74 win team, like both the previous and following season, yet somehow, miraculously they pulled off that season. To this day, it still will never make sense to me.”
That honor will always belong to the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals.
Extremely weird for this article to not mention his Cy Young Award.
If nobody talks about it we can maybe change the history books and say Verlander won it.
This is the weirdest complaint I’ve ever seen. I noted it as a good season … the fact he happened to get the award that year changes absolutely nothing about his going-forward value as a pitcher.
Doom & Bloom
Because he stole the Cy Young from Verlander.
The problem is they just signed Evoldi to essentially replace Porcello. I just don’t see him being in Boston after this year, as you’ve got Sale, Price, and Evoldi as cemented starters with E-Rod all but guaranteed the 4th spot. Rick would be a very expensive 5th starter to bring back unless he took one hell of a discount.
IF you remember, the Tigers traded him without offering an extension. Seems to be the same GM now in Boston. Hmmm.
With Eddie, Sale, Price & Eovaldi already locked up for the next few seasons, it really doesn’t make sense to bring Porcelli back. Sox are hoping that either Darwinzon or Shawaryn can make the jump next year and if not, they can sign a journeyman for a 1-2 year deal. If Porcello is open to a 1 year deal at $10M – $12M then it might make sense but I highly doubt that will be the case. All in all, I think you can say his deal has been worth it, given the Cy Young season, his durability and help winning a World Series.
Whoever gets Rick after 2019 will be lucky; he is great competitor and teammate.
He’s really their 5 now. Porcello knows he’s not that good and is likely dreading the free agent process. He is probably looking at somewhere around 3 for 36.
He might end up back on the Tigers after this run.
Are you really that quick to anoint Erod and Eovaldi as being better than Porcello?
Porcello is making $21 mil this year. Definitely not worth that much on his next deal. He’s a #3 or #4 innings eater. If his ERA was a run better over his career then it is we would be talking how many more years? But for a 4.00 career ERA guy he makes far too much. Sox can better use his money elsewhere.
I want an extension too Boston where is mine?
Always been a fan of Porcello….I think the RedSox are making a huge mistake. There are players that bring more to a team than just strike outs. Stats have a funny way of being used to support an argument either pro or con … so I’ll throw a few out there in his favor …..he brought to the RedSox exactly what they paid for…. avg’d 197 IP per yr, 32 GS avg each yr with RS (leads team and does not miss starts), he’s been on the DL one time in his career for 10 days in 2015, 3 entries into the to post-season with RedSox, a world series in 2018, and a CY in 2016. Porcello may not be an ace but he keeps stability in a rotation…..I’ll take that any day over a guy who spends August and September on the DL every year.
Was that a shot at Chris Sale? Because he has actually been a pretty reliable innings eater throughout his career too.
Depending how the other pending FAs shake out after the season (ie if the money isn’t needed on bogey or JD) I could see the Sox offering a 1 or 2 year deal in the 10-13/per range.
I’d also be expecting a QO to be issued that he turns down, and it isn’t hard to imagine a Keuchel type FA trip unless Rick comes in with a reasonable salary expectation – certainly in the 13-16/per range depending on whether it’s a 3 to 5 year deal.