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Rick Porcello opts out of contract, arbitration-eligible this winter

Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers - Game Four

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 12: Rick Porcello #48 of the Detroit Tigers throws a pitch against the Texas Rangers in Game Four of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 12, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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According to James Schmehl of MLive.com, Rick Porcello has opted out of his contract and is now arbitration-eligible this winter.

After the Tigers drafted Porcello out of high school as the 27th pick of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, they signed him to a four-year, $7.285 million major-league deal which included club options for 2011 and 2012. He exercised his right to opt out of the $1.34 million option for 2012, which has the chance to be a pretty lucrative choice since he’s eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter as a Super Two player. He remains under team control through 2015.

Porcello, who turned 23 in December, has a 4.54 ERA over his first season in the big leagues, averaging 4.8 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. His 51.9 percent career ground ball rate is ninth among starters with at least 500 innings pitched since the start of the 2009 season.