Update on the Detroit Tigers and Rick Porcello Trade Rumors

Brett KaplanCorrespondent IIIMarch 21, 2013

Feb 27, 2013; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello (21) throws during the top of the first inning of a spring training game against the Atlanta Braves at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that the Detroit Tigers are not only willing to trade Rick Porcello, but are being proactive about it by initiating contact.

According to Andy Mariano from the NY Daily News on March 20, the Tigers are reaching out to teams themselves.

Exec who's talked #Tigers re: Porcello: "They have been actively calling around on him...asking a lot, but I think they will move him."

— Andy Martino (@MartinoNYDN) March 21, 2013

If this is the case, then it is the strongest indication that Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski is intent on going with Drew Smyly in the Tigers' rotation over Porcello.

Porcello has had a terrific spring training in five pitching appearances and has a 2.50 earned run average to go along with 18 strikeouts and zero walks.

After a rough season in 2012, Porcello has been pitching with confidence, and several MLB teams have taken notice.

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal mentioned on March 20 that the Texas Rangers and the San Diego Padres were in pursuit of Porcello and that the Padres made an offer, which was rejected by the Tigers:

One thing is clear: The Tigers will not trade Porcello unless they receive a strong return.

The Padres made an 'aggressive' offer for Porcello last week, only to be rejected, according to a source.

Talks with the Rangers do not appear to be at an advanced stage, but the names of two Texas prospects - shortstop Leury Garcia and right-hander Nicholas Tepesch – apparently are on the Tigers’ wish list. The Tigers also would want a third player added to that package, but the Rangers would be reluctant to move even Tepesch in a Porcello deal, sources say.

After that report, ESPN's Jim Bowden mentioned on March 21 that the Tigers made an offer to the San Diego Padres, which was rejected.

According to Tigers source the Padres have turned down Porcello for Street and Porcello for Gregorson but talks continue

— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) March 21, 2013

As the regular season gets closer, expect more trade rumors linking Porcello to several other teams. Porcello has improved a lot during the offseason, and due to his young age (24) and his major league experience (48 career wins), he is a prime target for several teams.

Don't be surprised if other teams that have yet to be associated with Porcello become linked to him, since a lot of teams need a reliable No. 5 starter.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Joe Strauss reported on March 21 that the St. Louis Cardinals are looking at Porcello as well.

Cards checking out Porcello. Atoning for snub in '07 draft? #Hmmm

— Joe Strauss (@JoeStrauss) March 21, 2013

The Cardinals have a deep farm system and are a team that may be a suitable fit as a trade partner for the Tigers.   

Either way, until Porcello gets traded—which looks like a forgone conclusion at this point—the rumors will keep swirling about the Tigers' camp in Lakeland, Fla.

*All statistics are as of March 20

**All statistics are from baseball-reference.com