We learned a couple of things Monday as the Tigers dealt with a closer crisis they might want to resolve before spring camp adjourns in 25 days.
Development No. 1: The Tigers could, in a wild scenario, decide a new and improved Rick Porcello is at least worth discussing as a ninth-inning choice now that rookie Bruce Rondon's candidacy has been wounded, perhaps fatally, by a string of ugly outings.
"We'll be very thorough in looking at our options," said Jim Leyland, the Tigers manager, who with his boss, Dave Dombrowski, has watched as Rondon's mishaps have jolted an otherwise peaceful camp.
Development No. 2: Jose Valverde and his agent, Scott Boras, are open to signing a one-year contract if the Tigers are interested.
"Jose Valverde would be thrilled to pitch for the Tigers on a one-year deal," Boras said during a Monday telephone conversation.
That's news when it has been generally assumed Boras-Valverde wanted a multiple-year package for a free-agent reliever who this month turns 35. The Tigers, though, appear not to be as concerned about money as with Valverde's skills following a so-so 2012 season and multiple playoff disasters that made his return to Detroit improbable, if not an absurdity.
Porcello was Monday's big story for assorted reasons.
He was being scouted heavily during the Tigers-Astros game at Marchant Stadium, an 8-5 Detroit victory during which Porcello threw four blue-ribbon innings.
Porcello is a hot ticket for teams hungry for an extra starter the Tigers believe they can afford to trade.
Porcello, though, could in theory end up as a pitcher the Tigers might at least consider if their closer chasm isn't bridged.
Porcello throws strikes. And while he doesn't throw the ball past hitters, Leyland said Monday that, "I don't think you have to be a strikeout pitcher," to be an effective closer. And he used the Tigers' old workhorse, Todd Jones, as an example.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130305/OPINION03/303050308#ixzz2Mg0kE5Ur
Rick Porcello could be an option as Tigers' closer
Detroit News | Mar 5