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Could Josh, Anibal signings set up an Angels-Tigers trade?

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider

The Josh Hamilton signing set up the Angels to trade a hitter for a pitcher.

The Anibal Sanchez signing set up the Tigers to trade a pitcher for a hitter.

Sound like a fit?

It could be. In the wake of the two big free-agent signings at the end of the week, the Angels have been in contact with the Tigers about Rick Porcello, according to sources.

A Porcello-for-Peter Bourjos swap would seem to make great sense for both sides. But that doesn't necessarily mean it will happen.

For one thing, the Angels are telling teams that they would prefer to address their surplus by moving Kendrys Morales, rather than Bourjos or Mark Trumbo. Bourjos would stay in the outfield with Hamilton and Mike Trout, with Trumbo getting the at-bats that Morales would have had as the designated hitter and back-up first baseman.

Morales is of no interest to the Tigers, who already have Victor Martinez as their designated hitter and Prince Fielder as their first baseman. But Morales could be a fit for the Rays or Astros, two teams that are still looking to fill the DH spot.

If the Angels do trade Bourjos or Trumbo, they'll find a strong market. The Braves are another team that would be a fit for Bourjos.

The Angels are far from the only team to show interest in Porcello, a soon-to-be 24-year-old right-hander whom the Tigers are now very likely to trade.

The Rangers also like Porcello, asking about him even before the Tigers signed Sanchez. The Rangers certainly wouldn't trade either of their two shortstops (Elvis Andrus or Jurrickson Profar) for Porcello but could tempt the Tigers with other players.

The Phillies have been interested, but they addressed a hole in their rotation on Saturday by agreeing to sign John Lannan. It's not clear whether they would still want to trade for Porcello, too.

The Pirates have some interest, too, but sources say the Tigers don't like closer Joel Hanrahan. The Twins and Royals would both like Porcello, but the Tigers should have enough good options elsewhere to avoid trading Porcello within the division.

The Tigers could try to use Porcello to get an outfielder such as Bourjos, whom they could team with Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter. Or they could try to get some late-inning help for their bullpen.

The Sanchez signing, which will become official on Monday, allows them to make a move.

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