The latest missive from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi brings up a question they claim other MLB teams are asking - Will the Detroit Tigers actually trade Rick Porcello?
All signs point to ... maybe.
Rosenthal's oft named "sources" claim the Red Sox, Rangers, Padres and Orioles have all shown varying degrees of interest in Porcello, the Tigers reportedly looking for a right-hand hitting outfielder and bullpen help in return.
The same sources say the Padres made what was termed an "aggressive" offer for Porcello, which was summarily turned down by the Tigers. Of course, we have no idea who was part of the Padres trade offer and as such, why it should be considered aggressive instead of just hyperbole.
It's believed prospects were on the Tigers' radar when talking with the Rangers, specifically shortstop Leury Garcia and right-handed starting pitcher Nicholas Tepesch. The Tigers would want a third player added to any trade package, but the Rangers are not eager to include Tepesch, a 24 year old starter who split his 2012 season between Single A and Double A.
Rosenthal also regurgitates another old rumor, the Red Sox flipping closer Andrew Bailey for Porcello. But the Red Sox supposedly are loath to weaken what they believe is a strong bullpen in order to improve their rotation. Let alone there's the fact the Tigers have shown no signs of interest in Bailey.
Any deal with Orioles would likely involve 29 year old Nolan Reimold, a right-hand hitting outfielder who has a checkered injury history. A career .261/.338/.455 hitter, Reimold missed most of 2012 due to neck surgery to correct a herniated disc in his neck. But those sources believe the Orioles would prefer to go with their own youngsters in the rotation instead of making a deal for Porcello.
How badly do the Tigers believe they need another right-handed bat in the outfield? Enough to where Rosenthal alleges the team even investigated reacquiring Casper Wells from the Mariners. At least that's a rumor I hadn't heard yet...
So what's the most likely option when it comes to Porcello?
According to Lynn Henning of the Detroit News, the Tigers have been underwhelmed by the offers they have received for Porcello (that goes without saying, actually). So barring an unforeseen deal, he will start the season in the rotation while GM Dave Dombrowski bides his time, waiting for the trade market to improve. This would mean the 5th starter in waiting, Drew Smyly, heads north with the Tigers in the role of long reliever.
Finally! A Porcello rumor which makes sense for the Tigers!