A Everth Cabrera-Rick Porcello Swap Makes Sense


As the Padres target starting pitching this offseason, I have combed over rosters to see how the Padres matchup with other teams in trades. The Royals are shopping the underwhelming duo of Luke Hochevar and Bruce Chen. The White Sox are dangling Gavin Floyd in trade talks. However, one name that has piqued my interest, is Rick Porcello.

At a glance, the numbers on Porcello are a bit…underwhelming. He has a career record of 48-42, but with a pedestrian ERA of 4.55. He is still only 23, despite having over three years of service time. The Tigers have dangled him in the past — he was rumored to be traded several times, including at the trade deadline in 2012.

Oct 1, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello (48) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Porcello has the makeup of a potential star: mid-90’s fastball that he can throw to both sides of the plate, has a decent changeup and throws what scouts refer to as a “heavy ball.” He has been a pitcher that I have liked for a few years and he seemed like his talent always superseded his average statistics.

The Padres want to add a pitcher through trade and Porcello would be worth the phone call. One downside on a Porcello deal is the salary. Porcello is arbitration-eligible for the second time(he was a Super 2) and MLBTradeRumors.com projects a salary of $4.6 million for the young right-hander. While the salary is a bit hefty, Porcello would not be eligible for free agency until 2016. The Padres would be wise to inquire and I believe the two teams matchup in a potential deal.

The Tigers may need a shortstop — they do not seem to be too keen on the incumbent Jhonny Peralta. The free agent cubbard is extremely bare and the Padres have some depth in the middle infield. The Padres could dangle Everth Cabrera as potential trade bait.

Cabrera is the reigning stolen base champion in the National League and shown flashes of brilliance, followed by stretches of mediocrity. He is fun to watch on the path, but I have trouble seeing him as a top-of-the-order threat.

The Padres many have to give up more than Cabrera to faciliate  a trade, but moving Cabrera would do a few things for San Diego.

First, it would allow them to play Logan Forsythe at shortstop and turn second base over to Jedd Gyorko. It remains to be seen if Forsythe can handle shortstop, but I am a big fan of his bat. Gyorko is not highly regarded defensively, however his bat would be an intriguing fit in the Padres lineup. On paper, this deal seems mutually beneficial for both teams.