clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Rick Porcello will not be traded before Opening Day

Rumors keep swirling, but don't believe them. The Tigers will not trade Rick Porcello before Opening Day


I could be wrong -- I have been before, believe it or not.

But I am 99.9 percent sure that Rick Porcello will be a member of the Detroit Tigers organization come Opening Day.

We've seen the rumors -- a day doesn't fly by without rumors.

MLB Daily Dish has them all rounded up:

* Porcello likely to be dealt

* Tigers retaining arms?

* Tigers listening on Porcello

* Pads, Tigers talking Porcello

* Padres may pass on Porcello

You can't go a day with the Tigers offering Porcello, not offering Porcello, listening to offers for Porcello or turning down offers for Porcello. It's great for trade rumors, and we've taken advantage with a few headlines of our own at Bless You Boys.

When there's smoke, there is almost never fire

But realistically -- it's just not going to happen.

When there's smoke, there is almost never fire when it comes to the Detroit Tigers.

And although some would say, when Dombrowski flat out denies the rumors, what else is he supposed to say? I wonder why people are more willing to give the benefit of the doubt to rumor-mongering columnists and anonymous sources than a guy putting his name to a statement.

Dombrowski told the News:

"I will legitimately say, 100 percent, I have not proposed a deal (involving Porcello) to one other club all spring.
"Does it mean I don't listen? No. You always listen to what people have to say. Is it gonna happen? Most likely not."

Ask yourself why would the Tigers really shop Porcello.

The reason, of course, people believe Porcello is moveable is due to the emergence of left-hander Drew Smyly. With an all-righty rotation, it would make sense to move Smyly into it to break up the monotony. But it's not a requirement. Teams -- the Tigers are one of them -- have done pretty well for themselves with a flood of right-handers in the rotation. The team does not have to make a move to make space for Smyly. A franchise within spitting distance of the World Series would be wise to keep a little insurance around.

Nor do the Tigers have great options waiting in the wings in the minors. Casey Crosby has not impressed. He simply cannot put the baseball where he wants to. The likely rotation at Triple-A Toledo behind him is even less impressive. The Tigers are supposed to trade Porcello to make room for Smyly and cross their fingers that there are no injuries, no ineffective starters and that Crosby will find his command and control, or a career minor-leaguer will suddenly be effective when he's promoted to the big leagues?

That is way too much wishful thinking and not nearly enough depth. It in no way makes sense to move Porcello or any other starting pitcher.

And for what? To fill a hole at closer? What's more valuable: an effective starting pitcher or a closer? If you said closer, you've been taken in by the cult of the save stat. The Tigers do not desperately need one, despite what some of the national media experts think. The front office does not flail about in desperation, either.

If the names brought up in rumors are anything near the truth, it's easy to see why the Tigers are not interested. Luke Gregerson? Huston Street? No.

Some think continuing to hold out will net Detroit a better deal from a desperate team closer to the start of the regular season. Our old friend Matt Wallace recently searched through past trade archives to see what kind of deals are even done near the end of spring training, and the pickings were slim. So it seems unlikely teams will meet the Tigers' needs.

The Tigers have a high asking price, too, because they need to be sure they're getting enough in return to compensate for his value to the organization. If other GMs don't feel the same about Porcello as the Tigers do, that's fine. Each franchise is in a different spot right now. Some are panning for prospects, some are being fitted for rings.

This is a franchise that doesn't make big moves until it has to -- and right now, it doesn't have to. All the narratives and all the rumors in the world aren't going to change that.

If Porcello is moved before the season, I'm sure I'll hear a few statements of "told you so!"

But, I don't think that's going to happen -- that's why I'm willing to write this column.

There's smoke -- oh there's plenty of smoke. I just don't believe there's fire.