Rick Porcello is hanging up the glove and baseball cleats as he announces his retirement. He confirmed this on Monday during an appearance on the “The Bradfo Sho” podcast. Porcello is a former AL Cy Young Award winner who helped the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2018. Despite not playing in the majors following the 2020 season, the right-hander’s decision to retire isn’t a shock to many.
Rick Porcello: A Career Lookback
The 33-year-old was drafted out of high school by the Detroit Tigers in 2007. In April 2009, Porcello made his big league debut against the Toronto Blue Jays opposite rookie pitcher Ricky Romero. It was the first time two first-round picks faced each other in their respective debuts. Porcello pitched five innings, and struck out four batters while allowing four runs in the loss for Detroit. He went on to finish third in voting for the AL Rookie of the Year with a 3.96 ERA in 170 2/3 innings.
2014 and Onward
It was in 2014 that Porcello had a breakout campaign, throwing a then-career-high 204 2/3 innings with a 3.43 ERA. The Tigers traded Porcello to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes, Gabe Speier and Alex Wilson at the 2014 Winter Meetings. The move made sense at the time as both Porcello and Cespedes were a season shy from free agency. But, Boston inked him to a four-year, $82.5 million contract extension that spring. His first season in Boston wasn’t all that successful, as he tied for a career-worst 4.92 ERA. The lack of success made for a quick rebound in 2016 as Porcello broke all of his career stats and a slight win over former teammate Justin Verlander for the AL Cy Young Award voting.
2018 was the highest achievement of Porcello’s career. He and the Red Sox fought off a pair of ALDS exits in 2016-2017 to win the World Series championship. Porcello started 28 games for the Red Sox that season, pitching a 4.28 ERA with 15 1/3 innings of 3.52 ERA postseason baseball.
The following season saw Porcello hit the beginning of the end of his career. Porcello had a 5.52 ERA in 174 1/3 innings before hitting the free agent market and signing a one-year deal with the New York Mets. His time with the Mets ended on a low note with a 5.64 ERA over 12 starts in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. His struggles in his final two seasons muted interest during the 2020-21 offseason. Although he drew some interest in a potential reunion with the Tigers, no deal was close. The 2016 MLB wins leader was a respectful mid-rotation pitcher for most of his 12 years in the majors. Across tenures with the Tigers, Red Sox, and Mets, Porcello has a 150-125 record, 4.40 ERA and 1,561 strikeouts over 2,096 1/3 innings.