Rick Porcello knows. Tigers fans know. Baseball's front offices know.

The Tigers will trade their 24-year-old right-hander if an offer tempts them, not because there is anything wrong with Porcello that a restless slider can't cure.

A team with extra starting pitchers will move Porcello for the right package. And that's likely to include an answer at the lone infield position they can realistically hope to upgrade: shortstop.

Thursday's rumors were hot and reported by Bob Nightengale of USA Today: Porcello to the Diamondbacks as part of a package involving speedy prospect Nick Ahmed, 22, considered one of the more gifted defensive prospects.

Porcello, meanwhile, dealt with realities as he stood inside the Tiger Den at Comerica Park.

He was asked about the Tigers and their mathematical challenge. They have room for five starters in a rotation and have six men in line: Porcello, Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez, and left-hander Drew Smyly, whom the team believes is ready for regular work.

Dave Dombrowski, president and general manager for the Tigers, has said: "You can't have six starters." Nor does he believe the bullpen is a sensible option for a starter who needs regular, long-innings work. Nor, after seeing Smyly in 2012 is he inclined to send a 23-year-old craftsman to the minors.

Porcello all but rolled his eyes and said: "Good luck with that one."

In other words, he understands this isn't personal. It's business.

"Regardless of rumors, I'm with the Tigers and trying to get ready for spring training," said Porcello, who, no surprise, spent much of the offseason fishing for steelhead in New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont. "In my mind right now, I'm just trying to prepare for a job, work my butt off, and get ready for spring."

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130125/SPORTS0104/301250380#ixzz2J0EfMPag