Rick Porcello is coming to Boston and Yoenis Cespedes is headed to Detroit. Cespedes will be joined by Alex Wilson and Gabe Speier.
The trade makes sense for both clubs. Detroit came into the offseason looking to add some punch to its lineup and replace Torii Hunter in the outfield. Boston was looking to build a playoff caliber rotation.
Cespedes, 29, and Porcello, 25, are both due to hit free agency following the 2015 season, so this swap appears to be an all-in move for both sides.
Cespedes is owed $10.5 million next year and, due to a provision in his original contract, the Tigers will not be able to extend a qualifying offer at season’s end. Porcello is projected to earn $12.2 million in his final round of arbitration.
Cespedes brings good defense, speed, and a cannon arm to a big outfield that was in need of reinforcements. He also brings a lot of power, having posted three consecutive 20+ homer seasons.
The Cuban-born slugger does, however, struggle to get on base consistently. His OBP has dropped steadily from .356 during his rookie year to .301 last season split between Oakland and Boston.
Porcello is coming off a career year in 2014. The righty-hander won 15 games with a 3.43 ERA, 1.231 WHIP, and 129 K in 204.2 innings.
Porcello fits the same mold as recently-acquired Wade Miley in that he’s an extreme groundball pitcher that figures to cool the big bats of the American League East and keep Boston infielders busy all summer long.
The Tigers made another move today to address their rotation by trading for Alfredo Simon from Cincinnati. He figures to slot into Porcello’s vacated spot in the rotation.
As it stands right now the Tigers have a starting rotation of David Price, Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, Simon and Shane Greene.
The Red Sox are still looking for further rotation reinforcements and have an offer out to right-hander Justin Masterson.
Detroit may still be on the lookout for some bullpen help and Boston still needs to shed an outfielder or two, so expect more movement from both clubs.