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Monday, 28 January 2013 11:59

Still with Tigers, Porcello faces uncertain role

DETROIT -- From the moment the Detroit Tigers re-signed right-hander Anibal Sanchez to an $80 million, five-year contract this offseason, Rick Porcello has had a lot to prove. The top four spots in Detroit's rotation are now set, with Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister and Sanchez locked in. That leaves Porcello and Drew Smyly as candidates for the last opening. Porcello is a seasoned veteran with a $5.1 million contract - but he just turned 24 last month. That puts the right-hander in an unusual position with spring training coming up. There's a sense he could be traded at any moment. Porcello went 10-12 with a 4.59 ERA last year, and he was not in the postseason rotation.