Per Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, the Rangers inquired with the Detroit Tigers about starting pitcher Rick Porcello on Monday.
The Rangers, of course, just lost Martin Perez for the next 8 weeks. Perez was viewed as the leading candidate to be the Rangers' #5 starter until Colby Lewis returns from the disabled list in May.
Porcello, considered one of the best players in the 2007 draft, slid to the Tigers at #27 overall because of his bonus demands and desire for a major league contract. He had a decent rookie season as a 20 year old in 2009, but has struggled since then, putting up a 4.75 ERA and an 88 ERA+ from 2010-12.
Porcello is a low-K groundball pitcher, and there is some thought that he would show significant improvement if he was able to escape the Tigers' porous infield defense and play for a team that could put out a quality defensive infield -- the Rangers, for example. Porcello's peripherals and defense-independent stats are better than his ERA. While Baseball-Reference gives Porcello a 1.3 bWAR since 2010, FanGraphs has him at 7.6 fWAR during that time, on the strength of his peripherals.
Porcello is scheduled to make $5.1 million in 2013, and he's under team control through 2015. While the Tigers have an excess of starting pitching, they've also indicated that they aren't interested in just giving Porcello away, so the price the Rangers would have to part with to land Porcello would likely be significant.
Realistically, much as with Kyle Lohse, I think Porcello is someone who isn't likely to be a fit in Texas. With both pitchers, I'm sure there's some interest, and if the price was low enough, the Rangers might pounce, but I can't see Martin Perez missing the first month of the year being the type of thing that would trigger a move for an established starting pitcher by Texas.