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Rick Porcello opts out of contract, arbitration-eligible this winter

Jan 6, 2012, 8:20 PM EDT

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According to James Schmehl of, Rick Porcello has opted out of his contract and is now arbitration-eligible this winter.

After the Tigers drafted Porcello out of high school as the 27th pick of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, they signed him to a four-year, $7.285 million major-league deal which included club options for 2011 and 2012. He exercised his right to opt out of the $1.34 million option for 2012, which has the chance to be a pretty lucrative choice since he’s eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter as a Super Two player. He remains under team control through 2015.

Porcello, who turned 23 in December, has a 4.54 ERA over his first season in the big leagues, averaging 4.8 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. His 51.9 percent career ground ball rate is ninth among starters with at least 500 innings pitched since the start of the 2009 season.

  1. lostsok - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    As mediocre as he’s been, you’d think he’d be happy to just be a millionaire.

    • baseballisboring - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:22 PM

      Pfft, I’d have opted out too. He’s probably gonna double what he would’ve made.

      • lostsok - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:21 PM

        In three years his WHIP has gone 1.34 to 1.39 to 1.41.

        He’s getting WORSE each year.

        “pfft” all you want…he’s overrated and lucky to get a million plus considering the bonus he got. Detroit would be foolish to play his game when he’s clearly underperformed. He thinks he’s Clayton Kershaw. He’s not.

      • JBerardi - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:09 AM

        He doesn’t have to be Clayton Kershaw to make more than $1.34 in arbitration. Being any kind of remotely adequate MLB starter is enough, and he’s certainly that.

        And, your statistical argument is amateur hour. First off, a difference of seven hundreths over the course of three years is completely meaningless. Second, WHIP is a pretty shitty stat in the first place. Pretty much all the advanced metrics (FIP, tERA, SEIRA, etc) indicate that Porcello has gotten better each year.

      • reedpatrick - Jan 8, 2012 at 11:30 AM

        JBerardi : What’s the point of “advanced metrics” if your WHIP keeps going up? At the end of the day, he’s trending up … giving up more walks and hits than innings pitched. Last time I checked those are bad for a pitcher. People fall back on their metrics way too much.

      • cmutimmah - Jan 9, 2012 at 9:32 AM

        How about the fact that the guy went from a reliable top 3 starter projection to a projected 3-4 starter for the rest of his career. His numbers might be getting better or worse, but his expectations hit the fan.

        Right handed sinker ballers don’t have near the success as lefty sinker ballers…

        He’s still very young and he deserves to be paid as a starter, but just look at Doug Fister’s contract and you’ll learn the definition of “unfair”. He makes less than 500k/year!

  2. dondada10 - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    I knew Porcello bent the Tigers over a barrel out of high school, but why give him an option so early? The whole point of giving a draftee a major-league deal is that in the event he turns a Super Two because of playing time, you don’t get slaughtered in arbitration towards the end of the process.

    For example, the Giants would’ve been best served giving Lincecum a major-league deal, as he is now making a fortune off the arbitration process.

    • lostsok - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:23 PM

      Lincecum has been a Cy Young winning ace. Porcello is a mid-rotation guy (if you want a mediocre rotation).

      There’s no comparison except they are both mammals.

  3. djammer - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Arbitration is pretty easy money. My comparables: AJ Burnett and Barry Zito. Zing— 10 mil! Seriously though, mid rotation starters will get 4.5 mil. He’ll get $2.75 and he’s a bargain for that if you are looking at free agents now. Edwin Jackson will get $13 mil. How much worse is Porcello?

    • randygnyc - Jan 7, 2012 at 1:31 AM

      His arbitration case won’t be made on whether he’s a number 2 guy or number 5 guy. It comes down to his pitching stats, wins/losses/era/whip/innings/strikeouts/walks/homeruns. Then they find a few guys who signed recently (preferably this year) with comparable stats and see how much they make per year. They’ll take the average salary of these 3-4 guys and fight for that number. I expect him to be entitled to between 8 and 9 million.

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