REPORT: Tigers swap sending Rick Porcello to Boston for Yoenis Cespedes a done deal
When he became a free agent after leaving Cuba in 2011, the Detroit Tigers were very interested in signing Yoenis Cespedes, before news of Victor Martinez’s injury forced them to go in a different direction, and give a huge contract to Prince Fielder.
Last winter, the Tigers rolled back the first part of that offseason’s moves, trading Fielder and his contract to the Texas Rangers.
Now, they may have finally acquired Cespedes as the much-rumored trade with the Red Sox — sending starting pitcher Rick Porcello to Boston — was reported to be complete Thursday morning, according to Fox Sports 1’s C.J. Nitkowski. [CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED STORY]
[UPDATES: Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi reported that the Tigers were getting a minor-league pitcher back in the deal, as well, and would use prospects to later trade for a starting pitcher to ostensibly replace Porcello in the rotation. Alex Speier of WEEI in Boston reported that the Tigers were getting two minor leaguers back in the deal.]
[UPDATE II: Speier reported that Alex Wilson is one of the minor leaguers coming back in the deal. A right-handed reliever, he posted a 1.91 ERA with a WHIP of 0.882 in 18 appearances with the Sox last year. Speier later reported that 19-year-old left-handed pitcher Gabe Speier, a 19th-round pick by the Sox in the 2013 draft, is the lower-level pitcher headed to Detroit.]
[UPDATE III: The Tigers later sent Eugenio Suarez and 2013 first-round pick Jonathon Crawford to the Reds for starter Alfredo Simon to take Porcello's spot in the rotation.]
Cespedes spent the final 51 games of last season with the Red Sox, coming over at the trade deadline in the deal that sent Jon Lester to the Oakland A’s.
In 416 games between the two teams over the last three seasons, Cespedes has hit 71 home runs, an average of just under 24 per year, but his .780 career OPS (on-base percent plus slugging) is not exactly menacing. He'd likely play left field and hit behind either Victor Martinez or J.D. Martinez.
Both Cespedes and Porcello will be free agents after the upcoming season.