Tigers trade for Alfredo Simon to replace Rick Porcello in the rotation
With Rick Porcello reportedly traded to the Red Sox earlier in the morning, that meant the Tigers were back down to just four reliable starters (and a possible spring training battle between rookies for the fifth spot), unless they did something else.
So they did, trading for the Cincinnati Reds' Alfredo Simon, giving up Eugenio Suarez and 2013 first-round pick Jonathon Crawford.
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"He’s always been a pitcher that’s had premium stuff. ... He pitched in the bullpen early in his career, and was always a guy that never quite got over that hump of being a really good pitcher. Last year, his performance on the field matched his stuff," Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said in the press conference announcing the deal, of Simon. "He has an above-average fastball, and quality stuff."
Simon, who slots right into the rotation, will be far cheaper than Porcello next season (he made $1.5 million last year to Porcello's $8.5 million), and both third-year arbitration eligible. Both will be free agents after the upcoming campaign.
But Simon will be 34 (Porcello is 25), and is coming off his first full year as a starter, earning All-Star honors, going 15-10 with a 3.44 ERA, with a 1.207 WHIP and a FIP of 4.33.