Detroit Tigers

Rick Porcello vs. Drew Smyly: Should the Detroit Tigers Trade Either Pitcher?

Drew Smyly
Drew SmylyDoug Pensinger/Getty Images
Gary OusdahlCorrespondent IIDecember 18, 2012

Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly are drawing trade interest from teams looking for starting pitching, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.

Though the Detroit Tigers haven't committed to trading either pitcher yet, there does seem to be a logjam in the 2013 rotation.  

Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister and newly signed Anibal Sanchez will lead a rotation that will also include either Porcello or Smyly. The question is, which of the two pitchers will be considered expendable?

Smyly, 23, had a strong rookie season last year, starting 18 games. He had a 3.99 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 99.1 innings pitched.  

Porcello, also 23, had a subpar year for the Tigers, going 10-12 with a 4.59 ERA and 107 strikeouts. He also led the league in hits allowed.  

Both pitchers definitely deserve a chance to compete for the fifth and final spot in the rotation, but I think the Tigers will try to deal Porcello before the start of the 2013 season to allow Smyly an opportunity to develop.

Porcello has pitched four seasons for the Tigers, racking up a 4.55 ERA over 691.2 innings in 120 games started. One of Porcello's biggest problems, however, is the amount of hits he gives up on a yearly basis.  

He's also not an overpowering pitcher, but he has still managed to go 48-42, benefiting mostly from the Tigers offense. He likely wouldn't fare so well on a team with a less potent offense.

Smyly, a second-round pick out of Arkansas in the 2010 draft, is a fearless pitcher who is not afraid to throw any pitch in any count. He also seems very mature for his age and doesn't get frustrated or impatient.  

Smyly also has the ability to move the ball around, and he can throw almost any pitch for a strike. With five solid pitches in his repertoire, he looks to have more upside and value.

With teams always looking for starting pitching, the Tigers should trade one of the pitchers to add depth in other areas.

Who would you trade, and what would you demand in return?

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