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Tigers rumors: Detroit could retain Rick Porcello, Drew Smyly

The Tigers could enter the regular season with both Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly on their roster.

USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this offseason it was speculated that the Detroit Tigers would trade one of their extra starters -- specifically Rick Porcello or Drew Smyly -- to fill another area of need. However, the Tigers could enter the regular season with both players on the roster, according to Lynn Henning of The Detroit News.

When the Tigers re-signed right-hander Anibal Sanchez, general manager Dave Dombrowski told reporters "you can't have six starters." This seemed to indicate that whichever pitcher -- Porcello or Smyly -- didn't claim the team's No. 5 starter role would be dealt.

That appeared to be the position Detroit was taking early in spring. Porcello quickly became the most likely of the duo to be moved, considering he's more expensive and not under team control as long as Smyly.

But Henning notes that Dombrowski has been underwhelmed the by the trade offers he's received for Porcello, while Detroit currently lacks a long reliever. Rather than take less than he considers fair value in order to move the right-hander for the sake of making a trade, the GM could retain Porcello as a starter and use Smyly as a long man out of the bullpen.

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