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Tigers rumors: Detroit likely to trade Rick Porcello

The Tigers are expected to trade Rick Porcello prior to Opening Day.

USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday it was reported that the Detroit Tigers could enter the regular season with both Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly on their major league roster. Now, Andy Martino of The New York Daily News hears that the Tigers are expected to trade Porcello prior to Opening Day.

Lynn Henning of The Detroit News said yesterday that Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski was less than impressed by the trade offers he was receiving for Porcello. This -- coupled with the fact that Detroit lacks a long reliever -- led Henning to speculate that the Tigers could retain Porcello as a starter and use Smyly as a swing man out of the bullpen.

This would appear to go against the GM's plans from earlier in the offseason. After re-signing Anibal Sanchez, Dombrowski indicated that he wouldn't keep all six of his starters -- also including Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Doug Fister. Porcello was the arm expected to be dealt, considering he's currently more expensive and under team control for less time than Smyly.

Martino's source -- an unnamed executive -- told him that the Tigers are "asking a lot" for Porcello. This makes sense considering his perceived upside and the fact that he's still only 24 years old. Still, the exec believes Detroit will eventually move the right-hander. The Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres have been among the teams tied to Porcello.

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