Rick Porcello unfazed by uncertain future

Rob Bradford
September 24, 2019 - 5:34 am
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Dave Dombrowski drafted Rick Porcello and then traded the pitcher. When given the chance to entertain a contract extension for the pitcher -- at what Porcello identified as a discounted rate -- the former Red Sox president of baseball operations decided to prioritize other pieces of the roster.

Through it all, Porcello probably had a pretty good idea where he stood with Dombrowski. Now it doesn't matter. There will be someone else calling the contractual shots.

According to the 30-year-old free-agent-to-be, the uncertainty isn't going to faze him when analyzing what might unfold in the coming months.

"You know my situation," Porcello told WEEI.com. "You know what I’m headed into. I have no idea what is going to happen. We’ll see. Until you get to an offseason and you see what is going to be there for you don’t really know what is going to affect you."

Porcello is smart enough to also know that in cases like his Dombrowski may not have been working in a vacuum, that some of those who contributed to the decision of not committing to a new deal are still part of the Red Sox organization.

"A lot of times as players you don’t really know what the front office is thinking if you are being prioritized by who, or what for … You don’t really think about it, or at least I don’t," he explained. "I just kind of focus on what I can focus on and that’s the clubhouse and what’s in front of me. There are just so many things that go on in the front office that determine what path they’re going to go so it’s really hard to think about and try and keep up with the thought process and what is going on.

"Over the years when you’re around it you kind of understand how different things work. I think it’s the familiarity of being in baseball for an extended period of time. You see it."

If Porcello can duplicate his performance from Saturday night against the Rays, in which he tossed six shutout innings, the outing would certainly help the perception of what awaits beyond 2019. That said, the free-agent process, no matter who is pulling the strings with the Sox, figures to be a bit of an uphill climb for the pitcher.

Porcello has a winning record (13-12), with the Red Sox going 17-14 in his starts. And he has now made 30 more starts in nine of his 11 big league seasons. There is also the presence he brings to a clubhouse. But that 5.56 figures to be an albatross, perhaps leading him to a shorter-term deal that allows him to reestablish his value.

He may be the ultimate case of beauty resting in the eyes of the beholder, which is another reason Porcello isn't tying himself into knots trying to figure how this whole free agent thing will play out.

"There aren’t too many things that happen year to year that you don’t end up learning from," he said. "This is a new situation for me. I definitely learned a lot in the offseason, coming into the year and throughout the course of the season.

"Not every organization have the same philosophy or the same amount of money to spend or the same farm system or the same players. It’s different for everyone."