By: Jeff Riger
It seems like Tigers fans everywhere are relieved as Rick Porcello has been named as the 5th starter. It was no secret that the Tigers have been dangling Porcello out as trade bait and even though he hasn't reached his potential yet, fans seem very nervous about dealing him. It's weird actually! Porcello has been in the league for 4 seasons and sports a career 4.55 ERA and a 1.417 WHIP. He has been inconsistent, average at best and at times not even trustworthy, however fans don't want to see him get dealt and I really don't know why.
Maybe it's his age as Porcello will not turn 25 until December or maybe it's the fact that he was taken in the first round of the draft and the Tigers were absolutely thrilled and shocked that they were able to land the New Jersey native. Or, maybe fans just refuse to get John Smoltz out of their heads.
If I were to guess, I would bet on the last choice...
Get over it.
Detroit traded Smoltz for Doyle Alexander 26 years ago. Stop bringing his name up.
Just because Porcello has been named as a starter and for now seems to have beaten out Drew Smyly for a rotation gig doesn't mean he all of a sudden will not be traded. In fact, you wonder if his trade value goes up even more because Detroit has put their faith in him? Whatever the case is, Detroit fans should realize that Porcello represents a great opportunity to make the Tigers even better.
Porcello had a great spring going 4 and 1 with a 3.00 ERA. His WHIP was a miniscule 0.750 and he struck out 21 batters while walking nobody in 24 innings. Even though it's just spring, it's pretty amazing to have that walk to strikeout ratio. Yes, he was great and maybe this is the season that he figures everything out and becomes the pitcher that the Tigers have been telling you he will be. But, I would still deal him.
There is no tomorrow for the Tigers. The future doesn't matter! This team is set up and expected to win now and if Porcello gives you the chance to become even better then you have to take it. As good as this year's team looks there are still some question marks? Do they have an option for a right handed left fielder? Will Bruce Rondon or any other closer work out? Is Victor Martinez capable of being who he was a couple seasons ago before he was injured?
Yes, this team is a lot better off than most, but there is always room for improvement.
It must also be said too that Dave Dombrowski should be trusted in the trade category.
No doubt, there has been instances where Dombrowski has not got the job done but his trading ability is not one of those times. Since 2006 DD has pulled the trigger on many deals and most of them have worked out. For every Edgar Renteria, Jared Washburn and Aubry Huff that were disasters, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Phil Coke, Austin Jackson, Sean Casey and Miguel Cabrera were grand slams.
There is also the possibility that we as a fan base are over valuing Porcello and maybe he can't get what you thought he could. If the reports about possible dealings with the Padres are true for some average relievers then I would have kept Porcello in Detroit as well.
I believe this team will be much better with Porcello not on it! Not because I don't like the guy or his talent but because if Porcello is gone that means that Dombrowski pulled the trigger to bring in a player of need for a 5th starter.
So you tell me? Why is everybody so afraid of trading this guy?
Is it the age?
You know Jeremy Bonderman was once too young to trade as well and we all know how that worked out.
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