Padres, Rangers interested in Rick Porcello

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According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, the Padres and Rangers are the “most active” among teams interested in trading for Tigers’ right-hander Rick Porcello.

I suppose this should make Morosi happy. At least if that activity is exuberant and celebratory. We need far more of that kind of joyous intensity in our trade rumors, guys.

Anyway: R&M report that the Padres made an “aggressive offer” last week, but were turned down. Which is good because if you give in to bullies you only embolden them.

Alright, enough of that nonsense. Go read their report which handicaps the Porcello derby and talks about the sort of return the Tigers are looking for.

My view: I can’t remember the last time a team in serious contention had enough pitching. Heck, even the Reds last year, who had a recent day-historic run of rotation health and stability, found themselves a starter down due to one fluke of bad health in the playoffs.  If I’m the Tigers I keep Porcello, put Drew Smyly down in Toledo and see where things stand in June.  If, in the likely event other holes are found on the team, Porcello could be traded to patch them. As of now: they really don’t what they’ll need over the course of the season.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.