Originally written December 21, 2012 on The Detroit Sports Site:
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We heard coming out of baseball’s winter meetings that several teams, including a few in the National League, had asked Tigers GM Dave Dombrowksi about Rick Porcello’s availability. With each passing day now, it seems like another of the potential suitors comes to light. To wit: FOX’s Jon Morosi reported Friday that the Mariners, Orioles and Padres all have expressed interest in Porcello. The Mariners, Orioles and Padres have contacted the Tigers about trading for right-hander Rick Porcello, according to major-league sources. It’s believed that Seattle and Baltimore are more actively interested than San Diego at this point. … The Tigers don’t have a closer in place for 2013, so they may look to acquire a reliever who could grow into the role – such as Seattle’s Stephen Pryor or Baltimore’s Pedro Strop. San Diego has an abundance of right-handed bullpen arms, including Luke Gregerson, Brad Brach, Brad Boxberger, Dale Thayer, Nick Vincent and closer Huston Street. Padres outfielder Chris Denorfia also may have appeal to the Tigers as a platoon partner for Andy Dirks in left. As with any trade conversations, some of the potential names coming back to Detroit are more intriguing than others — especially considering the Tigers’ “win now” situation. Gregerson, for example, posted a 2.39 ERA in 77 appearances for the Padres last season, striking out 72 batters. He or Denorfia (.293, 8 HR, 36 RBI) would make the most sense in terms of guys the Tigers could plug and play, but neither is worth Porcello straight-up. Strop, meanwhile, delivered 24 holds and a 2.44 ERA as part of that dynamite Baltimore bullpen. The Orioles could use another starter too, and Porcello might even slot in as high as the No. 2 guy in that rotation. Earlier this week, we passed along the report that Pittsburgh was pushing for Porcello — but that the Tigers were saying no to a Porcello-for-Joel Hanrahan swap. Can the Tigers turn this into a bidding war and maximize Porcello’s worth? If not, holding onto him may be the best course of action.
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