When discussing potential trade targets for the Chicago Cubs, whether it’s mid-season, off-season, or any other point during the season, one name that always seems to emerge is Rick Porcello.
It doesn’t always break out with furor, but it does seem that the Cubs and Porcello find themselves connected quite a bit. Of course, much of that was due to the fact that the Cubs were shopping Matt Garza around heavily over the course of the past year or so. But even now, as Porcello’s status with the Detroit Tigers up in the air, the Cubs remain as a suitor.
The Cubs don’t have much in the way of long-term pitching solutions. They have Garza, but he figures to be traded either before or during the season. Jeff Samardzija figures to be the only long-term arm in the starting rotation, with Travis Wood and Scott Baker looking like they’ll be former Cubs at some point in the near future.
Porcello is an intriguing name for the Cubs for a couple of different reasons. It’s that intrigue that could also lead the Tigers to trade him at some point during the offseason. He’s a true wild card right now.
The 2012 season wasn’t too kind to Porcello. He won just 10 games and posted an ERA under 4.50. However, he’s maintained good peripherals, with 2012 proving to be some of his best numbers, including a 3.91 FIP.
Don’t forget, Porcello is just 23. He had a very good rookie season, finishing with a 3.96 ERA and 14 wins. The Tigers are surely hoping he returns to that form, which is probably the main reason that they haven’t dealt him yet. They’re hoping that he can return to that form.
But with Porcello due a raise from his salary, which stands at just over $3 million now, in arbitration this winter, the Tigers could look to deal him. He’s certainly not the untouchable player he once was, but the Tigers could still look to get a nice prospect or two to cut him loose.
That’s where the Cubs come in. Porcello would be a very nice fit with this team. Making the jump from the American League to the National League would be beneficial, as well as the change of scenery overall. Moreover, he presents the Cubs with a potential long-term pitching solution, which is something that the organization really lacks right now.
Whether or not the Tigers deal Rick Porcello is something that will be monitored throughout the remainder of the offseason. They may, they may not. But if they choose to do so, you can bet that the Chicago Cubs will be in on him in at least some capacity, as they should be.