With the free-agent pitching market getting thinner by the day, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington may be forced to address the team’s need in that area via trade.
With the Detroit Tigers recent signing of Anibal Sanchez, they have an abundance of starters and could move righthander Rick Porcello, whom ESPN’s Jim Bowden says the Pirates are very interested in.
Pirates and Padres are amongst the teams interested in Rick Porcello who becomes available after the Tigers resigned Anibal Sanchez to 5yrdl
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) December 14, 2012
In addition to the Padres and Bucs after Porcello, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports noted that several National League teams were inquiring about Porcello at the Winter Meetings, but the Tigers wouldn’t consider moving him until they signed Sanchez or another pitcher.
Porcello will turn 24 two days after Christmas. He already owns 48 major-league wins in 120 career starts, but his WHIP (walks and hits per inning) has risen in each of the last three years. There’s some belief that he’d be more effective pitching in the National League.
Acquiring Porcello makes sense for the Pirates.
While the Tigers may not be as high on the former top prospect as they once were, he’s still a good young arm with upside. In addition, he would be under team control until 2016.
He owns a career 48-42 record, alternating 14-9 and 10-12 seasons throughout his four-year big league stay. I’m not excited about his career 4.55 ERA while pitching at pitcher-friendly Comerica Park, but that is something that a switch to the NL would likely help.
The one thing though I do like about Porcello is that he is a ground-ball pitcher and the Pirates have a much better infield defense than the Tigers.
Detroit has been linked to Joel Hanrahan the past few weeks, although I doubt an even trade would be possible as Porcello will likely be more highly coveted than Hanrahan.
However, here could be the opportunity for Huntington to add a quality arm to the Pirates rotation.