Rick Porcello Trade Talks

According to ESPN (my Scorecenter App alert, to be precise) – the Rangers have inquired about Rick Porcello.

This makes sense to me for a number of reasons.

1) The Rangers just lost Martin Perez for several months with a fractured forearm. Perez was slated to be their #5. This is a team who has already shelved Neftali Feliz and Colby Lewis to begin the season.

2) As we’ve discussed on here before, Rick Porcello’s peripherals were actually pretty good last year- FIP under 4, increased velocity, and an increased K rate, to name a few. Jon Daniels is just the kind of GM that would value that.

3) Porcello’s fighting for a spot on maybe the deepest rotation in the AL, and the Tigers could use a lefty (Smyly) in the rotation.

Now, the Rangers have one of the best farm systems in the league, and they are also desperately trying to figure out what to do with Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar. They are also frustrated with Ian Kinsler and have discussed moving him to the OF. I doubt we’ll hear Andrus or Profar mentioned…but what about Porcello, Castellanos and Rondon for Andrus and Kinsler?

I’ll keep you guys posted on what I hear down here.


  1. The Strategy Expert

    March 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Well I like your thought process of qualifying the Rangers as a possible trading partner, but I think that’s a lopsided trade. I wouldn’t give any 2 of those 3 guys for both of those players. For one, we would have to verify a logical trade outlet for Peralta and Infante to fit those guys into the roster, otherwise Peralta and Infante would be dead weight if we can’t dump them off. Kinsler and Andrus I doubt would make my top 10 list of guys from their team I would like to acquire.

    They need to give us a quality player of good value or focus on giving us prospects if they want to make a trade for that trio.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      March 4, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      The fact that you wouldn’t want Elvis Andrus is borderline banish-able. But I’ll give you a chance at redemption. So, indulge me. Who are the top 10 players from their team? I’m guessing you can’t name them.

      BTW – News flash. Infante and Peralta are dead weight right now.

      In actuality, I’d keep Infante around as insurance and cut Santiago, and look to line up a 3rd team to take Peralta.

      • Smoking Loon

        March 4, 2013 at 11:56 pm

        I don’t think I would want to do the Rangers any favors. If Texas is desperate enough to offer Andrus for Porcello, I’d take that. I don’t see Castellanos and Rondon going anywhere else besides Toledo. Absolutely no reason for the Tigers to make deals from a position of weakness they’re really not in, as I see it.

        • Kevin in Dallas

          March 5, 2013 at 12:13 am

          Great point SL. Though I’m willing to pay for a young SS. Especially considering our defensive issues.

          • Smoking Loon

            March 6, 2013 at 12:03 am

            I started the offseason just itching to trade Porcello (among others) and then backed off, so it’s funny that I find myself considering it again. It’s the mention of Elvis Andrus, really – I can’t think of another SS or other possibility I’d go for at this point. The irony of Porcello for Andrus would be that the one Tigers pitcher who would most benefit from Andrus-Infante middle IF strength would be you know who. It also creates the problem of what to do with Peralta. Is it necessarily “trade him”? Would having Jhonny on the bench instead of Santiago or Worth be a bad thing?

            That said, I’d sooner not rock the boat with any significant deals at this point. Boesch and Santiago are the main expendables, to me. I like the team as it stands, to the extent that I could also live with Boesch and Santiago on the bench.

            • Smoking Loon

              March 6, 2013 at 12:11 am

              Quoting from Back’s Blog here. My view of the closer/Porcello thing is pretty much an echo of this:

              “The other scout is a believer in the anyone-can-close philosophy. A good reliever, he says, can get you 25 saves in a season no problem, and he can cite examples. He says the Tigers will be fine with the group of veteran relievers they have, and that they should ease in Rondon with seventh- and eighth-inning work while others handle the closer work. He’s more concerned with the Tigers’ starting pitching depth than he is the closer situation. Not only should they not feel the need to trade for a closer, the scout argued, they shouldn’t feel the need to trade Porcello. Between the average number of starters a team uses over the course of a season, and the complete void he sees with insurance starters in the Tigers farm system, they should hold onto the depth they’ve got. He didn’t call trading for a closer a fool’s game, but he could tell you deals that backfired.”

        • The Strategy Expert

          March 5, 2013 at 12:55 am

          Yes good point, Castellanos and Rondon are 2 of our VERY few prospects of upside. Definitely don’t want to help the Rangers unload players while they are in the position of weakness for the short and long term. The Rangers should be doing anything they can to dump guys like Kinsler and Andrus and to acquire guys like Castellanos and Rondon. There are a lot of teams out there that would give up a lot of cheap youth to take those contracts off their hands while they create a strategy to rebuild and win in the future, considering I see no chance of them winning this year.

          This is their opportunity to make a better future for themselves, and they are fools if they blow it by not trying to sucker a team like the Tigers into making a deal like this.

      • The Strategy Expert

        March 5, 2013 at 12:41 am

        Not sure why you would guess that I couldn’t name them? I stand by my words and I wouldn’t say something like that unless I actually thought about it first. Some of those guys would be pitchers, however we aren’t in the market to add pitchers, so identifying how many pitchers on their team are more valuable than Andrus or Kinsler is fairly pointless.

        I don’t have an analysis on all of their top prospects, but I would have to think they have at least 5 non-pitcher prospects of more interest than these guys. Neither player is a valuable player, so I would rather trade for their 20th best prospect than for them. That doesn’t mean the 20th best prospect is a better player than them, but he’s a better value if I don’t want to take on these type of players that I feel yield a poor statistical efficiency for the dollar.

        So while I could easily fill up 10 spots of pitcher and hitting prospects that I would rather target than those 2, here are the non-pitcher big leaguers I would rather execute a trade for:

        David Murphy
        Jurickson Profar
        Mitch Moreland
        Nelson Cruz
        Brandon Snyder (longshot maybe, would have to research him more)
        Leonys Martin
        Mike Olt
        Julio Bourbon (maybe, more research)
        Engel Beltre (maybe, ” )
        Leury Garcia (maybe, ” )

        Some of these guys like Beltre are new, but calling them big-leaguers just since they are on the current active roster. There’s 10 guys, 9 of which are on the roster now, 1 that played last year, and didn’t even have to tap into the pitchers yet or the farm system.

        I reject your sentiment that Andrus is a desirable player. Also your comment doesn’t account for the concern of Peralta being dead weight, so I don’t see how you can say that without addressing why Peralta’s existence is a non-factor to you. Very perplexed by your position this one and your desire for Andrus, both of those things confuse me.

        And I further reject that Infante and Peralta are dead weight. They are starting players with usage time projected and possible currency to execute trades. They are sunk costs in terms of us not having a decision to reverse the choices we made that brought them here in the first place, but as such they are NOT dead weight at this point in time as they are already bought and paid for through commitments that can’t be undone, and the balance of their usage time is a freebie for us now. Although one sentence later you seem to agree with me on this point, at least for 1 of those 2.

        • Kevin in Dallas

          March 5, 2013 at 1:08 am

          Okay, you’re pulling my leg. I get it. Took me 2 years, but I get it now.

          • The Strategy Expert

            March 5, 2013 at 10:23 am

            Not sure what you are saying with pulling your leg. You asked me a question and I gave you a very thorough answer so sorry but I don’t even know what you mean by this comment.

  2. Jeff in Detroit

    March 4, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Honestly why wouldn’t you want Elvis Andrus? He hit .286 last year. Has more range than Peralta. He’s 25 years old. Detroit isn’t going to do a idiotic deal of Castellanos/Rondon/Porcello for Andrus and Kinsler. Detroit fans would be outraged. If there’s a deal it’ll be for both teams to address their needs for Opening Day. Detroit needs to dish Porcello and Peralta. Texas needs a LF and 4-5 starter. You send Avisail Garcia, Porcello, and Peralta to Texas. Texas sends Detroit Andrus and relief pitcher Jason Frasor. Peralta is used as a backup incase Profar has any struggles or there’s an injury barring Beltre’s hamstring issues. Garcia can fit in great at LF. Two power arms in the corners with him and Cruz. This is the most logical deal I can think of.

    • The Strategy Expert

      March 5, 2013 at 12:49 am

      No power, not a high enough BA to make up for it. Not super cheap at over $11M total for the next 2 years and then he’s probably going to want a ridiculous pay raise and my exit strategy if I was the Rangers would be to dump him today and never cross that bridge with this player that has weak offensive upside and a soon to be blooming out of control salary. They should deal him and let that be somebody else’s problem when they foolishly overpay him and put him on a big contract. Plus, in this proposed scenario he would also cost us half of the value of those 3 players just to take on these concerns. And then we will have even less leverage to deal Peralta, assuming we don’t line up a trade for him in concert with this trade.

  3. Kevin in Dallas

    March 5, 2013 at 12:12 am

    Other than C, SS is the hardest position in the league to fill. Andrus will be an All-Star for 10 years. Castellanos is blocked here, and has peaked as a prospect. I like Castellanos, but I hate falling in love with prospects (thankfully, DD doesn’t suffer from this).

    Rangers wouldn’t take Peralta unless Detroit ate all of his salary or they flipped him somewhere else. They have the #1 prospect in all of baseball in Profar, and he’s blocked by Andrus.

    I just threw the deal out there to get something going. I’m certain that the Tigers are asking about Andrus and/or Profar.

    • The Strategy Expert

      March 5, 2013 at 12:45 am

      If we took a SS, the Rangers might value an extra SS more than they do now. But we don’t have to give them a player they don’t want and it’s simple to use a 3rd party to move a player when the 2nd party values that player as essentially zero as you claim by suggesting a 100% salary buyout is needed for them to want him. It seems clear other teams value Peralta above that level and there should be no worry about the Ranger’s valuation of Peralta as that’s irrelevant as any player to trade should always be traded to only the 1 team that’s willing to pay the most.

  4. stephen

    March 5, 2013 at 8:20 am

    The Strategy Expert has accomplished at least one thing: He has banished me from commenting on this site. His arguments always take us down some wormhole that is twelve miles northwest of reality and usually three time zones away from a plausible discussion of the question posed. I guess the problem is you can’t ban a guy for just being willfully obtuse, he doesn’t curse or commit any grave offenses. Well, other than killing any meaningful discussion of baseball.

    • The Strategy Expert

      March 5, 2013 at 10:24 am

      ? What about anything that I have ever said infringes upon reality? I call things how I see it and aim for maximum reality in actuality, and I feel confident that I am breaking now laws of physics or logic with any comment I have ever made, nor will I, because I think before I post each and every time.

      • The Strategy Expert

        March 5, 2013 at 10:25 am

        no laws

  5. stephen

    March 5, 2013 at 8:29 am

    “I reject your sentiment that Andrus is a desirable player.”
    Yes, why would we want to acquire a young two-time All-Star, former Rookie of the Year runner-up whose offensive skill so far, according to Baseball Reference, most resemble Alan Trammell?

    From a Yankees blog last August: The problem is that the Rangers already have one of the better shortstops in the game. Elvis Andrus, still just 23 years old, has been worth an average of 3.5 wins per season since he entered the major leagues. He is a +7 UZR/150 defender at short, and is having his best season at the plate in 2012, with a wRC+ of 105.

    That Andrus, what a stiff!

    • The Strategy Expert

      March 5, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Good question again, as the last person that asked, it’s because he is not a great performer in the batter’s box and has a looming giant contract expectation issue. And lots of baseball players can play the game. But we have this thing called money and resources and it’s finite, so the name of the game is to find the best deals. Complimenting a player as that Yankees blogger did does nothing to accurately pin down what his value is respective to other players since he doesn’t account for the costs to acquire those benefits. And it’s just his opinion that he’s so great. Apparently you agree, I do not however. He’s an expensive risky target for the long-term when I feel there are safer and better deals out there than him. I wouldn’t put him on my top 10 list of SSs that I would like to trade for. I we didn’t have Peralta, then that changes everything, but Andrus upgrade to Peralta just isn’t good enough and Andrus hasn’t proven that he can be elite enough for the long-term. I don’t believe in 5 years this Yankee blogger will be singing the same tune.

      • Jeff Molby

        March 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm

        Andrus hasn’t proven that he can be elite enough for the long-term.

        lol, I’d love to see you quantify what it would take for a 24 year old to prove “he can be elite enough for the long-term”.

        • The Strategy Expert

          March 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm

          Well when you own a baseball team then you can call me and make an appointment and I will show you how I walk through a stats analysis for a given player and how I break down and categorize players as guys that I want to have on my team and guys that I don’t want to have anything to do with. To me it’s a partial win anytime you can identify a player of weak value and stand by idle while somebody else in the market foolishly overpays. That just makes it easier and cheaper to get the coveted players than our current position where we gobble way too many of the undesirable players. In my system we would never acquire an illogical player, not a single time. That’s easy to avoid when you have a systematic process of evaluating a player’s worth and making logical gambles where there is an appropriate enough potential payoff.

          • Jeff Molby

            March 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm

            LMAO Do you actually believe there’s a team in the league that doesn’t have a “systematic process of evaluating a player’s worth”?

            • The Strategy Expert

              March 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm

              Yes they all do, but they don’t have one of these:

              “a systematic process of evaluating a player’s worth and making logical gambles where there is an appropriate enough potential payoff”

              That’s one thing, one process. It is packaged with only a logical methodology, and ALL teams in MLB have a problem with the logic portions that contribute to THEIR systematic processes. I don’t violate the nature of logic in my evaluations and strategy designs. That makes them worth nothing and my talent and abilities worth a value that is way off of the normal scales.

  6. Bill

    March 5, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Dude….put down the crack pipe never gonna happen! That said I would watch for a Tigers Marlins blockbuster type deal involving Rick Porcello and Giancarlo Stanton! Might include Boesch and Garcia as well, with a minor leage reliever on there side.

    • The Strategy Expert

      March 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      I like Stanton, no arguments here. Up and coming OF’s are part of the reason why despise the Torii Hunter acquisition so much. We already should have locked down a young star corner OF to take his place, if not 2 since I think Cespedes should have been here in the other corner instead of Delmon.

      Cespedes / AJ / Stanton would work well for quite some time.

      • Jeff Molby

        March 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm

        if not 2 since I think Cespedes should have been here in the other corner instead of Delmon

        For those of you keeping score at home, there’s no record of TSE saying he liked Cespedes until after he posted a good year for Oakland.

        • The Strategy Expert

          March 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm

          I have email proof that I sent to my dad with videos on Cespedes and a strong case for why I think we should sign him, including my prediction that we actually would, because not only did I think he was an ideal target, I was pretty confident that DD would like him as much if not a lot more than even I did. I was truly shocked when we didn’t get him because I truly thought I had his destination pegged.

          And for the record Jeff, there is not one person on this site that believes I’m anywhere remotely close to the baseball genius I claim to be, and I doubt I will ever convince anybody to state otherwise. So you aren’t accomplishing much by trying to discredit anything I say like as if I’m aiming to gain a club of followers to endorse me which I’m not. I recommend you focus your energies on other things than trying to invent reasons why somebody’s opinion isn’t credible. After all they are just opinions. You already stated with certainty that I have a horrible baseball mind and terrible ideas and opinions, so you add nothing of value with this comment here which is misleading about something you don’t even know anything about. Who cares if I liked Cespedes before many other people did? Not anybody here that I know of, so why is this an important issue for you to bring up?

          • Jeff Molby

            March 5, 2013 at 2:29 pm

            I’m hoping there’s a finite number of keystrokes you can type per year. If we burn up enough of them in the offseason, maybe there’ll be a couple weeks towards the end of the season where we can actually talk baseball here.

            That’s probably a longshot, though, so really I just like poking the bear from time to time.

            • The Strategy Expert

              March 5, 2013 at 2:35 pm

              I can tell you that I try to reply to ever reply or anytime somebody approaches me or cites something I said etc. So if you want less posts from me, the very best thing you can do is not interact with me at all. If nobody interacted with me a single time, I would continue to post less and less and at least head into the direction you would hope.

              • The Strategy Expert

                March 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm

                Also for the record I type over 100 WPM, and I have a terrible flat keyboard so I often make mistakes as I’m used to typing on a better board designed for speed. I don’t like to try and scroll up in this tiny message box to find edits, normally in other places that I post I like to post first and then quickly scan and edit for typos, so sorry for all the typos that I cannot correct. I’ll make a better effort from now on of remembering that there isn’t an edit button and try to eliminate future typos a little better than I have. So sorry about the inconvenience everybody.

  7. Kevin in Dallas

    March 5, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Looks like the Rondon experiment could already be coming to an end.


    • Vince in MN

      March 5, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      Knobler – yawn.

      • Smoking Loon

        March 5, 2013 at 11:44 pm

        I really hope that Knobler is wrong about the Tigers looking to the outside for a closer. Rondon was one possibility. That he might have some trouble with control early in ST must have been anticipated and certainly can’t be a cause for panic. No big deal at all if Rondon starts the season in Toledo. The Tigers’ bullpen mix is not thin on talent, and I think the closer is going to emerge – once the season starts – rather than be anointed.

        • Vince in MN

          March 6, 2013 at 11:58 am

          Knobler, intentionally or not, is stirring up the OH MY GOD WE DON’T HAVE A CLOSER WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE meme. The article didn’t include anything new since they pulled Rondon from games to work on mechanics for a while. The Tigers bullpen is quite deep and they don’t even need a “closer.” That doesn’t mean they won’t rush out to get one to make the manager feel better.

          • The Strategy Expert

            March 6, 2013 at 12:05 pm

            A “closer” would be nice if money grew on trees. But since it doesn’t, I’d rather just stock up the Manager’s locker with aspirin and Tums to help with those queasy feelings.

          • Coleman

            March 6, 2013 at 12:39 pm

            Back in the day, teams didn’t realize they needed a guy called a “closer,” and just brought in whatever pitcher the situation called for. Just for fun I looked up the Save leaders on the 1968 Tigers:

            Pat Dobson 7
            Daryl Patterson 7
            Fred Lasher 5
            John Warden 3
            John Hiller 2
            John Wyatt 2
            Mickey Lolich (!) 1
            Don McMahon 1
            Dennis Ribant 1

            They seemed to manage pretty well.

            • Coleman

              March 6, 2013 at 12:44 pm

              Of course, also back in the day the Closer was most often the Starter. If they Save total above looks rather low, it should be pointed out that the staff had 59 Complete Games–Denny McClain had 28 all by himself!

            • The Strategy Expert

              March 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm

              So they didn’t have any games where they ran out of guys who could throw baseballs pretty well? That was smart on their part.

            • Smoking Loon

              March 8, 2013 at 12:47 am

              Saves are, like W-L for starting pitchers, one of those overrated statistics that’s hard to look away from because so much is made of it. For one thing, however, you’d think that preventing inherited runners from scoring would be the real gold standard of relief pitching. For another, getting outs in the 9th is really no more important than getting outs in the 7th, or in the 1st, for that matter. You need to get at least 27 no matter what, and they’re all important.

              As much as I appreciate the more telling stats now widely available, I’m still wired to scan stat lines for BA/HR/RBI and W-L-ERA. That is still how I get my first impression (though I’ve learned to jump quickly to OPS and WHIP), and I’m sure I’m not alone. It’s going to take some effort to overcome those old habits, sort out the useful from the obscure, and come up with a new set of the most vital stats that works for me.

              • Vince in MN

                March 8, 2013 at 10:25 am

                Music to my ears, Loon. Music to my ears.

                Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure Leyland hasn’t converted yet. So, in order to make the manager’s job easier (not the same as better), we WILL have a closer this year.

  8. stephen

    March 5, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Can we sell TSE to the Hiroshima Carp?

    • The Strategy Expert

      March 5, 2013 at 6:57 pm

      I doubt I could afford to buy it. But if they offered me the GM job I am sure I would take it!

      I would probably eat better than I ever have in my life with the abundance of quality sushi and I’d welcome the challenges that would come from having no experience in Japanese baseball. Sounds like a lot of fun and hard work! When can I start? Will they pay me too? 🙂

  9. Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert1971

    March 6, 2013 at 4:23 am

    Just saw that JV met Arnold Palmer…is he the guy that has a drink named for him?

    • The Strategy Expert

      March 6, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Yes and if you add vodka to it then you create a John Daly, and no I’m not kidding.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        March 7, 2013 at 1:09 am

        Funny story –

        A guy I know was in B School and went to Houston for a job interview over lunch. The waiter comes around and takes drink orders:
        Interviewer: “I’ll take an Arnold Palmer.”

        Interviewee (confused as to what an Arnold Palmer is): “Alright, I’ll take a Vodka Tonic”

        Interviewer: “Isn’t it a little early for vodka?”

        Interviewee: “You’re right, I’ll take a Miller Lite.”

        He didn’t get the job.

        • Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert1971

          March 7, 2013 at 2:11 am

          This one’s for Tom in Lakeland…. sober almost 20 years (April 6th) but I sure used to love the Vitamin “V”; Greyhounds, screwdrivers, and the Breakfast of Champions, the Bloody Mary. Alas, I stil have a very hard time ordering a “Virgin Mary”,its got to be at least a venial sin….

          • Coleman

            March 7, 2013 at 11:58 pm

            Perhaps we will get lucky and get a post from Tom in Lakeland from, well, Lakeland. Surely he is at Spring Training.

  10. bada bing

    March 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned TSE’s comment where he said he would rather trade for Mitch Moreland than Elvis Andrus.

    • The Strategy Expert

      March 7, 2013 at 12:44 am

      1 year, cheap salary. Predicated upon making another deal since he doesn’t play convenient positions. It’s better than taking on those other higher tier salary players for a tiny potential gain instead of a sizable loss as the other alternative was framed. And I only put him on the list at the last good notion that he was off to a kind of hot Spring Training thus far. If those numbers were bad then I wouldn’t have added him to the list. It was the tie-breaker criteria for inclusion. I figured more is always better than less right? That’s what some kid said on a commercial that runs every single day.

      • Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert1971

        March 7, 2013 at 2:12 am

        Plus, he played his A (short season) ball in Spokane.

  11. Coleman

    March 8, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Watching the WBC, Rodney closing against Cabrera (warning track fly). If you thought Rodney was Crooked Hat on Detroit, you should see how he wears it when he takes the hill for the DR. Hilarious.

  12. The Strategy Expert

    March 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Well it is still key to keep in mind that not all innings are the same. If you find yourself in the 9th inning down by 10 runs, then surely you don’t want to burn up an inning with your best pitcher knowing that he might then not be rested for the next game which is likely to be a better situation in the 9th than being down 10 runs. So you can create an additional value for the team by assigning pitchers to pitch in innings that are attached to higher than normal win probability outcomes.

    I have been saying for a long time that I wish the culture of baseball viewership would change. It started for me in conversations with my dad since we would watch a lot of games and at one point I mentioned to him how frustrating it was the way that TV displayed the stats and covered stats in general. All we usually get is the BA. Which is not the one piece of data you want to understand what a player has done if you could only have one stat. It would at least be better to share the SLG or OPS which has that same information included in it yet more. To me it’s highly illogical to ever talk about a player’s BA without complementary stats attached to it. So if it’s one stat, it has to be something else, otherwise show us all of the relevant or interesting stats, or at least more than just one statistic! It never occurred to my dad that other stats were out there and that there was this entire hidden world of fascinating background information to the game.

    It seems like a lot of casual fans get bored watching baseball coupled with not understanding it very well. The games are long enough with huge periods of time in-between plays that there are all kinds of opportunities for the network to broadcast a more enriching and enjoyable experience which in turn would only help maximize viewership and ultimately profits available to all of MLB and it’s partners that have a vested interest. Last year I brought this up again to my dad after many years of discussions on this subject and I asked him for his current feelings about the TV statistical interface that is still in use today, and his answer was short and simple: “yea it sucks, and I can’t stand it”

    • The Strategy Expert

      March 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      This was supposed to be under Smoking Loon’s comment, but my browser got stuck and I had to refresh and didn’t realize my reply box was reset.