August 24, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello (48) pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Orioles, Tigers, Cubs Discussing Three-Team Trade

Early this morning, Roch Kubato of MASN passed along this nugget:

I heard last night that the Tigers and Cubs are discussing a potential trade involving pitcher Rick Porcello, who also interests the Orioles. Now here’s the rumored kicker: The Tigers are trying to get the Orioles involved because they want shortstop J.J. Hardy, and they don’t feel as though the Cubs have the necessary components to make it a two-team trade.

Porcello, 24, interests many clubs now that the Tigers have made him available via trade and the idea of Detroit having interest in Hardy makes a ton of sense. Why the Tigers and Orioles aren’t simply discussing a swap of those two without getting the Cubs involved is a mystery. Baltimore values Hardy, as athey should, but Porcello is still yet to reach his prime and has four seasons of big league experience under his belt.

The Cubs have already added a handful of starting pitching options for the 2013 season, but Porcello’s addition would allow them to move someone like Matt Garza more comfortably while also protecting Chicago in terms of depth. The Tigers seem hell-bent on dealing the young right hander, despite a lack of organizational depth at starting pitcher.

The Tigers have been rumored to be seeking an upgrade to shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who struggled at the plate in 2012. His range is limited in the field and with Miguel Cabrera playing third base, far too many ground balls went for hits through the left side last season. Peralta didn’t hit enough last year to justify playing a shortstop with defensive limitations.

At the same time, Porcello is one of the very few hurlers on the Tigers’ staff that relies on ground balls. If they trade the right hander, they don’t have as significant a need for a shortstop with more range.

I’ve been on record that Detroit should probably just hold tight to Porcello and have the extra starter in case of injury. A deal that brings them a shortstop for this coming season and beyond, however, would address a need the Tigers cannot fill through their farm system.

Tags: Baltimore Orioles Chicago Cubs Detroit Tigers J.J. Hardy Rick Porcello

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