The Tigers trading Rick Porcello made it seem like, maybe — just maybe — they were making some room to bring Max Scherzer back. But then they picked up Alfredo Simon and now they have, arguably, six starting pitching options. So, what does that mean for the Tigers and Max Scherzer?
When you’re a free agent, I guess you’re a “situation.”
If the Tigers are not in active pursuit that means, as far as I can tell, no one is in active pursuit of Scherzer. Which means that this may be a classic Boras-client-signs-in-late-January kind of thing.
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.