Monday, October 29, 2012

What do the Detroit Tigers do to improve their pitching for 2013?

By Sean Gagnier

Even as the Detroit Tigers watched the San Francisco Giants celebrate their World Championship at Comerica Park, questions arose as to what happens for 2013. One of those questions could be, how to the Tigers improve their pitching?

There are several options but two stand out more than any other.

General Manager Dave Dombrowski could make a move to resign Anibal Sanchez and keep him in Detroit for the long term. While that could be the preferred option, it could prove to be an expensive one. Sanchez, despite not receiving much run support in Detroit, posted a 2.15 ERA and 44 K's in his last eight outings and has said that he is open to returning to Motown.

That being said, Detroit will not be the only team pursuing Sanchez this off-season. Teams such as the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals will be in the hunt for Sanchez's services, which could drive his salary up quite steep.

Sanchez is 28 years old and only has a career record of 48-51, but ESPN's Buster Olney reports that he could get a contract worth anywhere from $30 to $60 million. If those figures are accurate, the Tigers could very well let Sanchez walk, seeing as he is slated to be the fourth starter behind Justin Verlander, Doug Fister and Max Scherzer.

The other option open to the Tigers would be the trade route, and despite popular thoughts by fans, Rick Porcello remains a viable trade asset for Detroit. Porcello is a solid ground ball pitcher and could bring a decent return, either in the form of a starter or bullpen help.

As a ground ball pitcher Porcello is well suited for a National League club, instead of the one he currently plays for that has very poor infield defense. A ground ball pitcher is only as good as his infield defense, and well...look who is in the infield for Detroit.

Porcello still is well regarded among other general managers and appears to be a fit in Minnesota, San Diego or Pittsburgh. A trade of Porcello for Joel Hanrahan or Aaron Crow could very well be a realistic possibility.

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