Phillies Free-agent Target: Rick Porcello

[CSNPhily] Phillies free-agent target: Rick Porcello

Leading up to baseball's winter meetings, we will take a daily look at some of the game's top free agents and how they could potentially impact the Phillies.

Today, we check in on right-handed starter Rick Porcello.

The vitals

Porcello turns 31 this month. The North Jersey native already has 11 seasons under his belt. He is a durable workhorse who has made at least 31 starts eight times. A consistent double-digit winner, he enjoyed a career highlight when he won the American League Cy Young Award while going 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA for the Boston Red Sox in 2016. However, he pitched poorly in 2019.

Why he fits

Porcello is coming off a down year with the Red Sox, but he still has tread on his tire. He has spent his entire career in the American League. A switch to the National League could help him as he seeks to rebound. He is a very serviceable back-end-of-the-rotation guy. The Phillies need to add a starter who profiles near the top of the rotation, but as a second wintertime pitching addition, Porcello might be worth having. He's durable. He takes the ball. He doesn't miss starts. And his contract demands might be modest.

Why he doesn't fit

In 2019, he pitched to a 5.52 ERA, gave up over 10 hits per nine innings and saw his strikeout rate shrink from 8.9 per nine innings to 7.4. Are these signs of serious decline? That's a question any suitor has to ask itself.

Also, Porcello has become more of a fly ball pitcher in recent seasons and opposing hitters slugged .483 against him in 2019. Citizens Bank Park might not be the best place for him.

The price tag

Porcello won't come close to the four-year, $82.5 million contract he just finished with the Red Sox. He could end up with a one-year deal in the neighborhood of $11 million as he looks to rebound and go back out on the free-agent market next season.

Scout's take

"He's a No. 4 starter who'll provide innings. He's never been hurt. He's showing a different style from early in his career. He's become more of a four-seam, fly-ball guy and his off-speed stuff is more mediocre now. His command is usually good and it has to be because his mistakes are hit hard. Philadelphia ballpark could be a problem."

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