After a season that saw the Detroit Tigers reach the ALCS before falling victim to the world champion Red Sox, they are reportedly willing to listen to offers on at least two of their starting pitchers.
#tigers have told teams they’re open to trading either scherzer or porcello
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 11, 2013
With only one year left of club control, Max Scherzer is obviously the bigger name in the rumor mill. The 29-year-old right-hander had an incredible season in 2013, posting a 2.90 ERA (in 214.1 innings of American League baseball) with a sterling strikeout rate of 10.08 K’s per 9 innings, and a more than solid walk rate of just 2.35 BB per 9 innings. In short, he’s a fantastic pitcher (as his 4.6 and 6.4 fWAR in the past 2 seasons would indicate) in the prime of his career.
So, why would the Tigers be willing to move him?
The answer is simple in that Detroit a) has a massive payroll, and b) could presumably get a nice haul for his services before having to face the decision of whether to shell out a 9-figure contract after 2014. Jon Heyman (of CBS) falls short of suggesting any actual destinations for Scherzer’s services, but it certainly could be worth monitoring in the future.
As far as Porcello is concerned, he doesn’t have quite the same name value or performance level as Scherzer, but that doesn’t make his case any less intriguing. The 24-year-old Porcello was a 1st-round pick out of high school in 2007, and he has improved his ERA (along with his peripherals) over the past four consecutive seasons. The asking price certainly wouldn’t be as high for his services, and the Tigers (in theory) would have a replacement option in Drew Smyly, who many felt would have been better in the rotation than Porcello was during the 2013 campaign.
All in all, this is shaping up to be an extremely interesting off-season for the Tigers, and if Heyman’s report is correct, teams should begin picking up their phones immediately.