UPDATE: The Sox are sending Alex Wilson and Gabe Speier to Detroit along with Cespedes.
10:18 AM: Ken Rosenthal says the deal is done. It’s Cespedes and two players for Porcello and a minor leaguer. We’ll update you when we know the names of the minor leaguers changing teams.
10:00 AM: Alex Speier of the Boston Globe says the Red Sox will send two additional players to the Tigers. Which makes this deal make more sense.
9:40 AM: The Tigers and Red Sox are pulling off a big trade according to Fox’s C.J. Nitkowski: starting pitcher Rick Porcello to Boston in exchange for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
Porcello is a perfect fit for Boston who, as you may have heard, is in the market for a starting pitcher. He’ll turn 26 at the end of the month but he already has six full seasons as a starter under his belt. In those seasons he’s 76-63 with a 4.30 ERA and 655 strikeouts and 263 walks in 1073.1 innings. Those numbers have a lot of learning curve built into them, however — he started extremely young — and a lot of TERRIBLE Tigers infield defense over the years, which has hurt the groundball-heavy Porcello a lot. In 2014 he was outstanding, going 15-13 with a 3.43 ERA and 129 strikeouts against 41 walks in 204.2 innings.
Cespedes certainly has pop, an arm built for a big outfield like the one in Detroit and the potential to uncork an excellent season, but his on-base percentage — .294 last season, .316 in his three seasons, heavily weighted by his first one — is a major problem. Also: Comerica Park is not going to be the best place in the world for his home run stroke.
Both Cespedes and Porcello have one year to go before free agency.
Jon Morosi reports that the Tigers’ busy Thursday morning may not yet be over:
The Reds are making Mike Leake and Mat Latos available, though many teams are also inquiring about Johnny Cueto. The Tigers farm system is not stellar these days, so it’ll be interesting to see who they’re dangling for quality big league pitching.
As the first few notes of “I will remember you” by Sarah Mclachlan plays, Andrew Heaney reflects on the transaction that, in the space of a couple of hours, sent him from the Marlins to the Dodgers to the Angels:
Now, if you excuse me, I’m off to read Tom Shales’ expansive oral history of the Andrew Heaney: the Dodgers years.
Less than an hour ago we learned that the Angels had traded Howie Kendrick to the Dodgers. So, who plays second base for the Angels? Well, here’s a possibility:
Rutledge turns 26 in April. While he has shown some flashes in short bursts — and while he really rocketed through the Rockies system — he’s never really established himself as a major league quality bat, hitting .259/.308/.403 in 947 plate appearances across three seasons. He has played more shortstop than second base, but that’s not to suggest that he’s a plus glove either, as he really can’t handle short. Obviously the Angels will, as the Rockies have done, see if he can handle second base full time.
In exchange, the Rockies got themselves a really nice reliever. Diaz had a 2.20 ERA and a 48/10 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings in Double-A last season before coming up in September and allowing two runs in 5 2/3 innings for the Angels. With his high-90s fastball and slider, he could be a long-term closer for Colorado.
This is getting wilder and wilder. After the six-player trade between the Dodgers and Marlins which, in turn, raised questions about whether one of the players involved would retire or not, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers have decided to take the most well-known of the players they received — starting pitching prospect Andrew Heaney — and flip him to the Angels.
The return: Howie Kendrick. Which answers the question of “who’s going to play second base for the Dodgers now that Dee Gordon is gone.”
Kendrick has had an above-average bat at second base for several years now, most recently posting a line of .293/.347/.397, which amounts to an OPS+ of 115. He has averaged 142 games a year and an OPS+ of 116 over the past four years. He’s not as flashy as Dee Gordon, I suppose, but he’s a better baseball player by just about every other measure.
Which means that, in effect, the Dodgers traded Dee Gordon and spare and/or retiring parts for a way better second baseman and way better spare parts. Nice trick, Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi!
Also fun here: before yesterday’s trade of Drew Butera, the Dodgers and Angels hadn’t traded in literally decades, now they’ve done two in two days.
For the Angels, they get a nice pitching prospect in Heaney. As for who plays second base for them? Well, I have no freakin’ idea.