Must not be able to give the dude away.
However, a little further down in the same article is this nugget
<Dombrowski, on contract negotiations with ace Justin Verlander: "Contract conversations are better off behind the scenes; obviously, we'd love to keep him." >
First I've heard of this important order of business all winter.
We both know not to read into this much. I mean it would not look good to have Dombrowski say Porcello has been knocked down to 'spare starter' status, while trade negotiations may be ensuing.
Dombrowski is going to say nice things about Rick, right until the time he's traded...... which I hope isn't until late March at the earliest.
I just can't help but wonder though if DD is having difficulty coming somewhere near the value he wants to get for Porcello in return. DD saw what the A's got for GIO last year, and although Porcello is FAR from Gio, DD has to be thinking that Porcello is worth more than what teams are offering...thus DD is playing the "we'll keep him if we have to" card.
Way I see things is we'll trade Porcello, and the second week into camp some SP is going to suffer an injury that will keep them out until July, and we'll be starting the immortal Luke Potkonen or Duane Below anyway.
trading a starter for the sake of trading one isn't a case of addition by subtraction.
the tigers are a strong team with both smyly and porcello on the staff. in that case smyly. i hope, goes to the pen. especially true with an all righty rotation.
the tigers do not have to make a trade at all. they will be stuck with peralta at short but they are still the strongest team in the ALC. once we get into the post season, we need to sort that out though.
everything that DD says though is to further his goal of improving the team by trade.
Maybe they extend Scherzer & Fister instead, for five years a piece
Then trade JV for a bunch before he hits the last year of his contract.
If the Tigers had an infield with decent range and glove at each position ..and perhaps a past or current gold-glover or two ..Porcello would be knocking the door on 18 + wins every year.
I am sure DD knows this ..and rest assured that Porcello knows it too. My gut feeling is that there are a few teams who would do very very well to obtain Porcello.