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.

  • Joepoe321

    Oh and that they could push .500 winning record

  • Bill

    I’m not sure how Porcello makes any sense for the Cubs. A WHIP that has increased every year. Pass, unless the Tigers are willing to give him away. Cubs already have pitchers better than him. Now, if we are talking about a trade for Smyley, then that makes sense.

    • Danny Ballgame

      I agree, don’t really see the need/desire for him

  • Joepoe321

    No problem

  • Don

    Soriano and Marmol in bigger trade for Castellanos. Other pieces involved. Pull the trigger Theo and Jed!

  • 12 year old cub fan

    It would be good to have porcello but we should be focusing on Michael bourn.

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      We don’t need a 30 year old, one dimensional player who wants 40 million dollars.

      We are rebuilding. Scott podsednik could put up comparable numbers to Bourne by signing him for just one year and a million or two dollars.

  • taits06

    I know this sounds like I’m not a good Cubs fan, but am I the only one that secretly hopes we under-perform again as a whole?? Have a season similar to last year, trade some guys away that have solid first halfs for solid prospects, and then pick up a nice draft pick at the end of the year. I don’t want Rizzo, Castro, Shark, and a handful of other guys to under-perform. I want them to get better and become more disciplined, but I want the cubs to lose. I want to be able to get another prospect like Almora or Baez… except maybe a college pitcher. Someone more MLB-ready. Again, I don’t know how to say this without it sounding badly, and I hope you all can understand. I am a HUGE fan, and have been since birth. But, since we are in rebuilding mode I want to maximize the potential for future success by losing this year. Maybe we’re in every game and the guys feel like we’re on the cusp of victory.. and the next year will feel like the year we start to turn it around… because right now we are fooling ourselves if we think this team will be competitive. It’s nice to dream about, but it is not realistic.

    • BWA

      I definitley do not want another 100 loss season, but it would be advantageous to have a protected first round pick again because we will probably be getting some free agents next season.

    • JoeyCollins

      For me this season is entirety about individual performances, same as last year. I know this team does not have what it takes to contend for a title so until that happens I’m watching to see how our core players progress. My focus will not be on the final score but on the box score, and the young core of this team. I don’t want to loose 100 games again, but a top 10 draft pick does sound nice. One more decent sized draft pool and a protected pick just before we take a big step forward. I will say though depending on how this year goes I’m probably going to need to see some real progress in 2014. Not just in results on the field but with the FO as well. Until then I’m fine with how things are progressing so far.

      • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

        My focus will not be on box scores or individual performance. The success of the season will hinge solely concessions sales.if the cubs can increase bottom line revenue by 8 percent then I’m all on board with the re-build

  • Die hard

    With Houston to AL no more safety net to bottom of well

  • Frank

    While I’d definitely have some interest in Porcello, I would’t want to go overboard in some attempt to help the Tigers land Hardy. If Porcello turns into Smyly, Castalannos, or maybe Avisail Garcia, then thats different. If not, something small scale like:

    Cubs get Porcello
    Tigers get Hardy
    Orioles get Marmol (Cubs&Tigers split the bill)+whatever else the Tigers want to send there way.

    Additionally, I woudlnt mind sending over any of Raley, Rusin, or Campana and get an inteiguing low level prospect or two that wouldn’t require a 40 man spot just to clear some space.

  • Gray

    I personally think the cubs should trade Garza if he’s proven healthy and Soriano to the Rangers for Olt and major league ready pitcher

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      That a huge win for the Rangers, Olt is not exactly a guarantee to give up our best pitcher and offensive player (I know some say Rizzo/Castro but last year it was Sori). I want a ton more than Olt.

  • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

    The rangers already experienced the albatross know as soriano. Why in the world would they want this guy after he was sent packing by them once before?

    Nobody wants to be in the same train wreck twice. You think soriano is Ryan’s type of player?