Earlier this spring, the Detroit Tigers were expected to trade one of their extra starters -- Rick Porcello or Drew Smyly -- for a proven closer or extra outfielder. However, with the regular season approaching, the Tigers could elect to forgo a trade, go closer-by-committee and retain both Porcello and Smyly, according to Chris Iott of MLive.com.
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski told reporters that he's not lacking for trade partners. He's received "a lot" of phone calls, and he says "it's more people calling us at this point" than it is Detroit initiating conversations.
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Speculation of a pending Tigers' trade began when the team entered camp with Porcello and Smyly competing for the No. 5 rotation spot. The expectation was that whichever failed to win the final spot would be shopped and eventually traded.
This belief was only increased when rookie closer Bruce Rondon struggled early in camp. At that point, it began being rumored that the Tigers would use one of their extra starters to acquire a proven closer.
But Rondon has rebounded to the point where it appears Detroit is comfortable entering the regular season using several relievers as its closer. Plus, the team is ominously thin at starter beyond its first six options. For this reason, they could elect to stash either Porcello or Smyly in the bullpen or Triple-A rather than complete a trade.