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Tigers rumors: Rick Porcello available

With Anibal Sanchez back in the fold for 2013 and beyond, Rick Porcello could be on his way out of Detroit.

Rick Yeatts

The Tigers had made it known this earlier this offseason that they were willing to listen to offers on right-hander Rick Porcello, reports Buster Olney of ESPN, and now that they’ve re-signed Anibal Sanchez Detroit could make the former top prospect available:

In a related situation: The Tigers have made it known to other teams for weeks that they will listen on offers for Rick Porcello. You wonder if there could be a fit between the Pirates and Tigers on a Porcello-for-Joel Hanrahan thing.

After reaching an agreement to bring Sanchez back for 2013 and beyond, the Tigers have six candidates for next year’s starting rotation, including Sanchez, Porcello, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister and Drew Smyly.

Smyly and Porcello are both 23 years old and were each former high-round picks. However, since Smyly is under team control for three more years and had the superior 2012 campaign, it would appear that Porcello is more likely to be traded.

Last season Porcello maintained an ERA of 4.59 over 31 starts spanning 176 1/3 innings. After his impressive rookie campaign in 2009, the right-hander hasn’t finished a season with an ERA south of 4.50. He owns a career ERA of 4.55 over four seasons in the majors.

The Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres are two of the teams interested in Porcello, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.

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