rick porcello tigersOnce the Chicago Cubs locked down Edwin Jackson, and (presumably, though not yet officially) Carlos Villanueva, it was a pretty fair assumption that they were done with the rotation for the offseason. Indeed, GM Jed Hoyer said as much last week.

But these guys are tricky, as you well know.

MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers are currently discussing a trade centered on starter Rick Porcello. The 24-year-old righty has been discussed around these parts many times, most recently when the Tigers – and not the Cubs – re-signed Anibal Sanchez, thus theoretically opening the door for them to deal one of Porcello or lefty Drew Smyly. Because of the Cubs’ subsequent acquisitions, it seemed a fair bet that Porcello would be going elsewhere.

But not so says Kubatko, who indicates the Cubs and Tigers have been involved in Porcello talks, according to something Kubatko heard last night. You’re probably wondering why a Baltimore Orioles reporter is breaking a rumor about the Cubs and Tigers, right? Well, he hears that the Cubs and Tigers aren’t a straight up match (there were reports that the two sides spoke back in December and couldn’t find a fit), and the Tigers have tried to pull the Orioles into the mix so that they can land shortstop J.J. Hardy. The Orioles, themselves, have a need for pitching, so you wonder why the Cubs would be involved at all, but, hey, that’s the rumor. According to Kubatko, the Cubs would send pitching to the Orioles, the Orioles would send Hardy to the Tigers, and the Tigers would send Porcello to the Cubs. Without knowing the pitching going from the Cubs (big league? prospects? low level?), it’s hard to understand exactly how this kind of circuitous movement would work.

Given that the Tigers are looking for a shortstop, you have to wonder whether they’ve been pushing the Cubs for Darwin Barney, who can almost certainly still play well above average defense at short. If so, maybe the Cubs have been reluctant to part with Barney for Porcello, whose peripherals are improving, but whose overall numbers have been disappointing in his young career. He’s also about to get expensive in arbitration.

Maybe the Orioles want Alfonso Soriano? Just throwing that out there. Neither the Cubs nor the Tigers would pluck the Orioles out of thin air to be the third team in discussions, so it would make sense that at least one of the two teams had already been having talks with the Orioles about something …

So, is there meat here? Hard to say, though I’m sure Kubatko isn’t totally making this up. Porcello did make sense as a Cubs target for a variety of reasons (age, buying low, switch to NL with better infield defense, etc.), and he absolutely is available. Acquiring him would certainly make the Cubs all the more able to move Matt Garza, if that’s what they’re hoping to do.

This may be something to watch.

  • Lone Ranger

    Very interesting stuff. Would love for the Cubs to get a lefty pitcher though

  • Matty V

    I’d be more in favor of getting Smyly than Porcello, but the Tigers might not be making him available. I’d love to see the other names that could be a part of this potential deal.

  • Craig

    Cubs need to send Marmol and Campana to the Brewers for CF Gomez. He had 20 hr and 36 sb last year while playing great defense. Both Marmol and Gomez will be free agents but if Gomez works out the Cubs can extend him. Plus the Brewers could use another closer option. This idea is much better than signing Bourn and losing a draft pick.

    • Danny Ballgame

      I could dig that move

    • Matty V

      One of the biggest knocks on Campana is that he doesn’t get on base. Gomez has a lower career OBP than Campana does.

      • hansman1982

        I haven’t looked at his stats but if he is putting up 20 HR AND good defense, you could live with a few percentage points of OBP.

        • BD

          Isn’t that what Brett Jackson could be?

          • Craig

            If Brett Jackson does develop this year, then you don’t resign Gomez. If Jackson doesn’t, then you have a great defensive CF with speed and power we could keep using until others are ready

          • hansman1982

            Jackson would have the side benefit of actually giving you 10-15 points of OBP on top of Campana.

        • Matty V

          Last season Gomez hit 19 HR’s. Prior to that, his highest HR total was 8, in 2011. I’m not saying he can’t hit double digit HR’s from this point forward. (He may have discovered a new power stroke this past season.) Prior to that, he looks to me like a slightly more polished Campana (better defense, slightly more pop). If we were looking for a leadoff option, I would go after him. If we want a lower in the lineup guy who could knock a few out of the park and play good defense, I’d be ok with that. He’s definitely not a bad player, just not super exciting.

          • Matty V

            That should say, “If we were looking for a leadoff option, I *wouldn’t go after him.”

    • Jose Aldeman

      POSSIBLE STARTING ROTATION if we get this trade done.LOOKS GOOD
      2- SHARK


  • Harry Pavlidis

    hmm, I wonder if the fact that Villanueva hasn’t officially been inked has a tie in to the Cubs being (back) in on Porcello

    • ActionJackson

      (Villanueva will be formerly announced/signed soon), I just think they are getting quality pitching when they can and then utilize that strength to acquire positional talent whenther that is trading Garza, Feldman or Baker (at trade deadline) or even Shark…… You have to figure that by having a plethra of quality pitching puts them in a great position. The Cubs are doing a smart thing because trading their abundance of pitching is how they are going to build up a strong offensive team but also allow them to have quality pitching left over. Very smart move on Theo and Jed’s side. Team’s have been known to shell out alot of talent for a quality pitcher at the deadline!!!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I sure hope not.

      (And, hey! It’s Harry!)

  • Melrosepad

    I’d think it would make more sense that Porcello would go to Baltimore, Marmol to Detroit, Hardy to Detroit, and then minor leaguers fill the rest of the spots.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      From the Cubs’ perspective, that’s pretty much just trading Marmol to the Tigers for prospects. Not really what’s on the table here – plus, not really sure the Tigers want Marmol after Valverde pulled a Marmol late in the year.

  • 2much2say

    The Cubs have to be after Castellanos, Olt or Headley. Detroit gets Marmol/Barney
    Texas gets Baez/Garza SD gets Vogelbach Baez Jackson

  • Jacob

    Uhh.. is there any chance that this trade becomes huge? Like includes Garza/Sori and prospects? I know it isn’t believed that Garza will be dealt before him making an apperance.. but I don’t know what other pitching the Cubs would trade?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Given the Orioles’ possible need for a guy like Garza and a guy like Soriano, sure. Plausible. Things like that are always far from likely, though.

      • Jacob

        That’s pretty much what I was thinking.

    • Rcleven

      Baltimore may be looking for LHR to try to acquire Morse.

  • DowntownLBrown

    If this is true and we move Soriano indirectly for Porcello, that is a good trade. (although Id rather have Smyly) Then sign Bourn for cheap if at all possible, and we re a team floating around .500. If you cant get Bourn in for cheap, I think we need to give BJax a chance to do either succeed or Fail in CF.

  • North Side Irish

    LaRoche re-signs with the Nationals…helps in that it removes one of the potential supplemental picks and moves the Cubs second rounder up…hurts in that Michael Morse is now officially on the trade market which gives teams looking for a DH/OF type another target. Baltimore is rumored to have some interest in Morse.

    • MightyBear

      What about the Cubs getting Morse? He played some third awhile back and can play the outfield and 1b and DH in inter league games. What would it take from the Cubs to get him?

      • gocatsgo2003

        If by “some third” you mean 32.2 total innings (the latest of which occurred in 2009) with 11 total chances… then sure. But it doesn’t seem like there’s much of a fit there.

        • MightyBear

          I knew it wasn’t a lot but he did play the position at the ML level. The Nats didn’t need him to play third with Zimmerman there but the Cubs could certainly use him if his defense is adequate and Kyle’s buddy doesn’t work out.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Zimmerman has spent a lot of time on the DL and the Nats didn’t use Morse as a sub.

            The more interesting part of the Nats signing LaRoche is that this blocks Zimmerman from moving to 1st, which in turn blocks Rendon at 3rd. Of course, Rendon probably is 2+ years away from MLB: indeed, if he keeps hurting his ankle, he might be infinite years away!

            • MightyBear

              LaRoche was a 2 year deal. Maybe you’re spot on Doc. LaRoche 1b, Zim 3b for 2 years and then Zim 1b, Rendon 3b.

  • Bryan

    how about a framework along the lines of this…

    Baltimore gets Soriano.
    Detroit gets Hardy.
    Cubs get Porcello.

    and then prospects + cash to even the rest out, but those as the major players?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      So long as a healthy chunk of the cash and prospects were coming from the Cubs, it could be realistic.

    • Brian

      Didn’t Soriano already say no to Baltimore?

      • MightyBear

        That was because they weren’t competitive. Sori said if he’s traded, he wants to go to a team that has a chance to win a title. The O’s were certainly good last year. Maybe he’ll change his mind.

        • Jose Aldeman


          WHATS THE MATTER SORI ? Are u the course of Billy Goat ?

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Please take off the caps lock. Thanks.

            • Jack Weiland

              WHAT IS CAPS LOCK

          • DarthHater

            If this scene is disturbing to you, please send a generous contribution today to: Nation United To Stop Abusing Capitalization.

          • Rmoody100

            What is the course of the Billy Goat?

            • DarthHater

              In this course, students will learn how to : (a) defend the actions of the front office; (b) insult sheep and other non-caprinid ruminants; and (c) taunt trolls while affecting to occupy the moral high ground. — Instructor: Prof. Michigan Goat. 😉

              • Cubbie Blues

                I had to Audit his class last semester. He always smelled of beer.

              • Behind enemy lines (south side cub fan)


          • Patrick W.

            I LOVE LAMP!

          • Carew

            cancer of the team?

    • brickhouse

      O’s want pitching and not Soriano

  • MightyBear

    What about Marmol to the O’s? Do they need a closer or a setup man? Thinking out loud. I know its dangerous.

  • hansman1982


    Barney to the Tigers, Porcello to the Orioles and Machado to the Cubs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • MightyBear

      Now you’re just being silly.

  • Cedlandrum

    If the O’s want pitching I wonder if Travis Wood would be a part of a trade. Otherwise who do we have other then Garza we could trade them.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      If the O’s want pitching, wouldn’t they just take Porcello?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        That’s what I said. Roch, too.

      • Cedlandrum

        That would make sense.

      • BD

        Maybe they aren’t high on Porcello.

      • Leo L

        i was thinking they might want garza but i would think they would want to see him healthy first

  • Bryan

    Orioles get: Travis Wood, Josh Vitters and a nice toupee for my man Buck Showwalter
    Cubs get: Machado, Wieters
    Tigers get: A 90 day free supply of Nutri- System for Prince Fielder.

    Everyone Wins.

    at least this will make me smile.

    • @cubsfantroy

      I’m surprised no one as said something along those lines, and was being serious about it.

      • Bryan

        thankfully you saw the joke lol. some of the people on here can get a tad bit crazy

  • ETS

    “whose peripherals are improving, but whose overall numbers have been disappointing in his young career.” – is this referring to barney or procello?

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm


  • ncsujuri

    Let’s not forget that we cannot trade Feldman/Baker/Villanueva/Jackson until June sometime if I am not mistaken since they were signed as free agents. I’ve seen those type of ideas thrown out there on a few blog comment chains.

  • Ch1town23

    Baez is not going anywhere…. He is the non steroid version of Alex Rodriguez….David price is going to be available soon.

  • Kurt

    Sigh, the Orioles….really!

    It wouldn’t be a Cubs off season without a bogus Oriole sighting.

    Nothing to see here people, move along.

  • http://www.opportunity.org FawnLiebowitz

    Phils say they are done with roster moves this offseason, per MLBTR.

    If true, they are out on Soriano, and this Tigers/Orioles rumor may be Theo’s “Plan B”.

  • BD

    Maybe we can get Brian Roberts…

    • BigPappa

      That’s what I was going to say BD.

    • Patrick W.

      I literally just spit Diet Dr. Pepper out of my mouth on that. Very funny!!!

      (Dear god please tell me you were being funny or I just insulted you and I apologize unreservedly)

      • Patrick W.

        Weird thing is, I wasn’t drinking anything.

  • Patrick G

    Orioles get wood soriano
    Tigers get Hardy marmol
    Cubs get porcello and Brian Roberts

    Finally it happens

    • BD

      Nice- Roberts can replace the scrappiness that needs to be filled once Campana is booted out of town.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

        People are goign to have to prepare themselves for the strong likelihood that Campana makes the team as the 5th outfieldeder.

        • Adventurecizin’ Justin

          If the Cubs had a better outfield, Campana would make the perfect 5th OFer. Let’s say Castillo gets on in the bottom of the ninth down one run…it is nice to have a guy like Campana available off the bench, in my opinion.

    • Bigg J

      Roberts is kind of washed though, but would be a nice 1 year piece as we wait for the young talent to come up. I am not sure about Wood though as we only have 1 lefty in pen right now.

  • Bigg J

    Marmol to the Tigers as well and then flip Garza to Rangers for Olt as everyone is saying he is healthy. (just hasn’t shown it yet so I am hopeing for a Spring Training trade to the Rangers once he pitches a few games) Also, Morse is now available and can look to grab him in place or Soriano

  • Bigg J

    in place of* Soriano(sorry)

  • JR

    Wasn’t the Soriano to the Orioles thing already played out? And he did what Soriano does and blocked the trade.. I don’t know about dealing talent for Porcello at this point. It seems the Cubs have a LOT of Porcello level pitchers. Even if they move Garza later, Porcello doesn’t do much for me.. But if this is Smyly were talking, I am all about it.

  • Demarrer

    This is a rumor with barely any legs, so lets make some crazy trades!

    Orioles: Jeff Samardzija, Matt Garza and Porcello
    Tigers: Marmol, Vitters, McNutt, Vogelbach, JJ Hardy (Cubs eat the contract of Marmol)
    Cubs: Castellanos, Bridwell, Schoop and Bundy!!!!!

  • Patrick W.

    I will say, I love me some Manny Machado, but if the Tigers are getting JJ Hardy, there is no way the Orioles give up Machado too.

    – Stating the obvious since 1971

    • Patrick G

      When Machado turned -19 years old

  • Bigg J

    So Washington wants a lefty reliever and/or prospects in return for Morse. Trade Wood (and/or prospects) for Morse!

  • kranzman54

    Dodgers officially got Howell…ALL THE PLAYERS!

  • Me

    To me this would work

    Orioles get Junior Lake, Josh Vitters, and Alfonso Soriano
    Tigers get JJ Hardy
    Cubs get Rick Procello and prospect in the 10-15 team ranking range from the Orioles system

    Cubs kick in enough cash to make Soriano a 2 year 5 million a year player. The Tigers get their SS in Hardy who is going to be most expensive in terms of players than I think people think.

    Then CUbs trade Garza and Marmol to Texas for Mike Olt, Martin Perez, and 2 other prospects.

    Then the Cubs sign Michael Bourn to a 4 year 55-60M deal.

    1. Bourn CF
    2. Castro SS
    3. Rizzo 1st
    4. Olt 3b
    5. DeJesus LF
    6. Sappelt/Schierholtz RF
    7. Castillo C
    8. Barney 2b

    1. Edwin Jackson
    2. Rick Porcello
    3. Scott Feldman
    4. Scott Baker
    5. Carlos Villenuva
    6. Martin Perez
    7. Travis Wood

    Strong rotation with 7 starters for 5 spots

    • Bigg J

      Texas won’t need Marmol and he would go to the Tigers before the Rangers. Just trade Garza to Texas for Olt and a mid prospect and I will be sold.

    • 2much2say

      Stop batting Dejesus 5th he is not a clean up hitter.

      • gocatsgo2003

        He is moreso than Castro or Sappelt/Schierholtz. Though he would ideally be in the 1-, 2-, or 6- spots, that’s where he likely falls in our pretty awful offense as it stands today (even with signing Bourn and trading for some MLB-ready corner players).

        We are three or four pieces away from fielding an “ideal” lineup — we are going to have to make do in 2013 and maybe 2014 (unless some prospects accelerate their development or we sign some big-time offensive names).

  • TakingWrigleyToSãoPaulo

    Is there any rule regulating the trade of players just signed? What if given the depth of pitching the Cubs seem to have and the “favorable contracts” that they negotiated that they are already attractive to other teams.

    Maybe the Cubs would be willing to move some of the new blood for an “upgrade” in Porcello.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

      They can’t be traded without their permission until midseason, and it would be considered bad form to ask.

      • TakingWrigleyToSãoPaulo

        Thanks Kyle. Obviously, not an option.