Lukewarm Stove: Porcello, Blue Jays, Upton

Your Friday mid-day fix from the Lukewarm Stove …

  • Rick Porcello has been one of those guy whose name comes up periodically in rumor talks over the last couple years, but never quite reaches a level of serious discussion that you’d associate with a guy who is “going to be dealt.” I still don’t think we’re there, though the Tigers’ pitching situation – particularly if they re-up with Anibal Sanchez – coupled with Porcello’s increasingly groundball-reliant approach (with a crappy infield defense behind him) and his escalating arbitration cost make him a potential trade candidate. George Ofman says he’s been told there’s “smoke” to possible discussions between the Cubs and Tigers about Porcello, though other teams may be interested as well. There’s a lot to like about Porcello, including his age (24 in December), his groundball rate (53.2% in 2012), his increasing WAR (2.0, 2.7, 2.9 over the last three seasons), and his increasing K/BB rate (2.21, 2.26, and 2.43 over those same three seasons). On the other hand, as a Super Two, he’s already in his second year of arbitration, where he’ll make upwards of $4.5 to $5 million. He could get pretty expensive in the subsequent two years, yet he hasn’t had an ERA+ better than 92 in any of the last three seasons (oof). That said, the upside is real, and the Cubs certainly have the ability to absorb the cost. Porcello is not a guy I’d be looking to give up a package of top prospects to acquire, but he’s certainly worth taking a chance on. The only question is the price. What if the Tigers wanted Darwin Barney? Is that an easy yes? Easy no?
  • Even after acquiring both of Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, the Blue Jays are looking to add yet another starting pitcher, says Ken Rosenthal. They’ve already got a full rotation of Johnson/Buehrle/Morrow/Romero/Happ, plus a group of convalescing youngsters, but you could understand them wanting more depth. That doesn’t mean, I don’t think, that they’re going to want to try and add a Matt Garza or to re-sign a Carlos Villanueva. In other words, I’m not sure there’s any impact on the Cubs here. For their purposes, the big deal with the Marlins removed the Blue Jays from the part of the pitching market that affects the Cubs.
  • B.J. Upton appears to be making the rounds, having met with the Braves yesterday in Atlanta, and with the Phillies earlier in the week. I still think the Cubs should be considering Upton, all things considered, but if we don’t catch wind of a meeting in the next few days, I’m thinking they’re officially out.
  • Don’t forget to follow BN on Twitter and like it on Facebook to keep up with the latest this offseason.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

117 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Porcello, Blue Jays, Upton”

  1. Me

    I love trade senerios and this is no different.

    Cubs get Porcello, Avila, and Castellanos
    Tigers get Garza, Barney, Marmol, BJax, and Vogelbach

    WIn WIn

    Period!

    1. Richard Nose

      Yuk.

  2. cubs82

    The Blue jays sign Melky Cabrera

  3. cubs82

    The Blue Jays have agreed to sign Melky Cabrera to a two-year, $16MM contract

    1. bbmoney

      Wow, at that price……kind of wish the Cubs had been there.

    2. JR

      Damn, thats probably 25% of what he would have received before the failed ped test. Hell of a deal for the Blue Jays. I am surprised no one offered more than that.

    3. Myles

      Cubs should have taken a look at that price, but oh well.

  4. Tim

    Wowowowowowowowowowow

  5. Dustin

    I really cant see how the Jays can afford to pay all these guys they got. I wonder if they will sell around the trade deadline if they aren’t in contention and restock their farm.

  6. Fastball

    I would prefer to not send Barney to Detroit. I would send a 2B prospect and Jr. Lake. and another prospect in the top 20. We have plenty of 2B’s. But I don’t send Barney and a bunch and others for Porcello. Barney’s value is high as hell right now.

    1. Hee Seop Chode

      I’ve gotta disagree, I’d trade Barney in a heartbeat for a young #2 type. Brett is right, the coo could afford his growing pay check, and this is the type of player it’s ok to pay.

      1. King Jeff

        Porcello is a #2 type pitcher?

        1. Frank

          the opportunity for a double entendre is obvious, but I’m too tired to put it together.

          1. Cubbie Blues

            A double entendre? I’ve been with the same woman for 17 years now. I would be thankful for a single entendre.

  7. Rizzofanclub

    I have been screaming for the Cubs to sign Melky all year. I have no idea of any good options for the cubs at cf/rf. Hopefully Theo can impress me but I am not going to get my hopes up. 2 yr 16mil seriously? With that contract he would not block anyone. Don’t give me maybe he wants to go play for a winner b/c the cubs could of increased it to 2/18 or even 2/20.

    1. King Jeff

      Yeah, getting Melky for something in that range would have been nice. Do you think his SF numbers were legit, or is do you think he’s more like the ATL/KC Melky that we’ve seen most of his career? I think that question could have legitimately scared a young team like the Cubs off, and I think it’s a justifiable stance if that’s their reasoning.

  8. Jeff

    Rick Porcello and Casey Crosby are two pitchers I would love for us to add to the rotation.

  9. #23

    I have wanted the Cubs to get Porcello for two years now. I think he could be a great long term addition to the rotation. Would love to see them work out a deal.

  10. ruby2626

    Isn’t Omar Infante the Tigers starting 2B? His bat seems similar to Barney’s, basically a .260ish singles hitter who doesn’t walk much. If I were Detroit I wouldn’t consider any trade without Barney. What better way to fix the league’s worst infield defense in terms of unearned runs and range than to add the top defensive 2B in the game who is a comparable hitter.

  11. Tom

    Hey guys, Tigers fan here. Can’t see the Tigers wanting Barney at this point, with Infante already signed for 2013 (unless he is part of the trade, of course). Infante’s D was strangely shaky the first month or so after he arrived, but he settled down and hit well after that and in the playoffs.

    Taking on Soriano wouldn’t entirely shock me, but we also now have three guys who can split LF and I’m not sure we’d be looking to move any of them with Porcello to get Soriano and someone else.

  12. Lou

    If Jeff Nieman of the Rays could come back healthy, rather have him.

  13. Frank

    Just saw that the Blue Jays signed Melky Cabrera for 2 years, $16 M.

    1. MichiganGoat

      Well if that’s true then Blue Jays are going all in

    2. Frank

      Was I really that late with this? Damn, my computer’s slow . . .

  14. rudymeolismullit

    You are all nuts, Porcello is a bum!

  15. rudymeolismullit

    Having said that, Barney for Porcello….in a heartbeat!

  16. ReiCow

    We hurt Porcello’s ceiling (ground ball pitcher), by trading away our best defender (who plays at 2B). If we are going to go towards more ground ball pitchers (a move I am in favour of), Barney’s value to us skyrockets. These guys will only be as good as the defense behind them, making Barney’s glove even that much more valuable than his (non) bat. Heck, I feel that Barney’s great defense makes the defense of those around him in the infield better.. thus further increasing his value when it comes to ground ball pitchers.

    Moo.

    1. Carne Harris

      Good point.

  17. Carne Harris

    I think this is one of those cases where a guy’s perceived ceiling gets in the way of who he actually is. Not like there’s a small sample size for him in the bigs – he’s pitched nearly 700 innings. He’s given up 800 hits (including a league leading 226 in 176.1 innings last year – 2 off the major league lead by Clayton Richard who pitched 40 more innings than him), has a career 1.417 WHIP (1.531 last year), and a career 4.55 ERA (4.59). Unless they see something they can fix and we get him cheaper than Barney (who’s more cost controlled and under an extra year of control), pass.

  18. Tobias

    According to MLB trade rumors, Dave Dombrowski is looking for a right handed hitting LF to platoon with Dirks. Cubs should be on the phone with Detroit about Soriano. Cubs could pick up most of what’s left of Soriano’s contract with other pieces if the Cubs are targeting Porcello. Could Soriano (cash to cover contract), Barney, Lake, and Marmol (cash to cover contract) bring back Porcello and Crosby?

  19. Jason "Thundermug"

    According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, while the Marlins do not award no-trade clauses, they had assured both Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle as free agents last offseason that they would not be moved, and that the team was committed to a long-term vision.
    Buehrle was concerned going in due to the Marlins history of dumping high-priced veterans, but team president David Samson reassured him and his wife that he wouldn’t be traded. While verbally assuring players they won’t be traded isn’t a binding agreement, it’s still deplorable to turn around and sell off those players the next season. It’s hard to envision any free agents choosing to sign with Miami in the near future.

    What a joke the Marlins are becoming ! They have a horrible Owner Lying President A New Stadium that cost 650 plus Million that cost tax payers alot of money and will be lucky to draw 10,000 fans a game. No Huge Free Agent or even any above free agent will even think of going there.

  20. MichCubFan

    I would rather overpay for Porcello than overpay for a free agent…he is coming from a better division, is very young, and is a good fit for pitching at wrigley.

    1. King Jeff

      The Cubs have more money than prospects though. I’d rather get Porcello than most FA starters too, but if costs too much in prospects, I’d rather that the Cubs just spend some money, which isn’t in such short supply for them.

  21. Nate

    OK everybody, I’m new to this board. But how about this as a trade scenario? I heard a rumor that the Rays may be looking to trade Jeremy Hellickson.

    Cubs Get: Hellickson
    Rays Get: Soriano, Lake, Clevenger

    Tell me what you think.

    1. King Jeff

      First off, welcome Nate.

      That would be a great trade, but I don’t think Tampa would go for it. They are going to want a good haul to trade a starter if history is any indicator. I have read that they were asking for Wil Myers from KC in exchange for Hellickson, so it would probably take Baez+ to get him for the Cubs.

    2. hansman1982

      Ya that trade wouldn’t get Hellickson. Think Garza trade

      1. cub2014

        cubs will sign another starter and that is about it. they are still focused on 2014
        when top young prospects are closer.

        barring a really bad spring i think they will have stewart at 3rd and campana in CF
        they need to see what they have because they have top prospects coming in both
        positions.

        i also think they should trade barney now at high value because they are also loaded with second base prospects

    3. geo

      Soriano is not the type of player the Rays trade for. When they make trades, they only take young, cheap, controllable players.

  22. King Jeff

    I was watching the Torii Hunter presser and heard something pretty cool. Hunter wanted to keep the jersey number he’s had his whole career, but Rick Porcello already wears that number. We all know how this plays out, right? Hunter offers Porcello x-amount of dollars for the number. Porcello refuses, Hunter thinks he wants more money or something. Porcello then tells Hunter he can have the number if he donates the money he offered to Hurricane relief. It would be nice if more pro athletes had that kind of attitude. Sign me up for wanting Porcello in Chicago.

  23. florida Al

    yeah but if we trade barney for porcello, there is plenty of talent at that position we could plug into at the minor league level…not sure if any of them are quite ready yet, but with a rebuilding year thats where you find out what youve got…

    1. Tobias

      Even if the Cubs do not have anyone ready to play 2B right now, but is a year off then the Cubs could sign a 2B to a one year contract.

  24. Lukewarm Stove: Garza, Myers, Marmol, Porcello, Hochevar, Walden, More | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] teams Rick Porcello is available, which has largely been understood to be true for some time now. We’ve discussed him before here as a nice upside play, but with Scott Feldman and Scott Baker already in the fold, I’ll confess that I’m [...]