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Lots of interest in Porcello, but Tigers can't trade him (yet)

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider

If the Tigers want to trade Rick Porcello, they'll have no problem finding a taker.

Plenty of teams are interested, and quite a few National League teams asked about him at last week's winter meetings, sources say.

For now, though, Porcello isn't available. For now, the Tigers need him.

That could change if the Tigers are able to re-sign free agent Anibal Sanchez, something they'd still very much like to do. But the Tigers were told their early offers to Sanchez weren't close to being enough, and as of now it appears Sanchez is still looking for quite a bit more money than they're willing to offer.

Porcello is still just 23 (he turns 24 two days after Christmas), and he already owns 48 major-league wins in 120 career starts. But his WHIP (walks and hits per inning) has risen in each of the last three years, and there's some belief that he'd be more effective pitching in the National League.

The Tigers don't seem to love Porcello as much as they once did, but without acquiring another starter, they can't very well trade him. Their current rotation includes Justin Verlander, Doug Fister and Max Scherzer at the top, with Porcello and Drew Smyly penciled in for the final two spots. The Tigers don't really have anyone else ready to challenge for a spot.

Sanchez has been the lone free-agent pitcher the Tigers have pursued. They also tried to trade for James Shields, before he went to the Royals.

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