Astros: Justin Verlander could offer a Randy Johnson like impact
Should the Astros go get Verlander?
Verlander may have extra wear and tear on his arm, but he did finish second for the AL Cy Young award last year. In 16 starts this year, Verlander is 5-4 with a 4.47 ERA with 92 strikeouts 94 2/3 innings. The caution flag you might throw out is his league leading 44 walks. With the Mariners, Johnson had 60 walks in 1998 and only 26 with the Astros.
The Astros could acquire Verlander for fewer prospects than with Gray or Quintana. However, it would take a large financial commitment for the Houston front office. Mark DeRosa was back at it trolling Astros fans with his own Verlander trade idea. Another writer will address his trade package later.
Getting a player like Verlander on this team would help the Astros with another former Cy Young winner. He would be asked to be a third pitcher in the playoffs. Some question Verlander’s playoff records, but he has a career 7-5 record in the playoffs with a 3.39 ERA. He has also recorded 112 strikeouts in 98 1/3 innings in the playoffs. He has also pitched in three World Series games.
Verlander had more playoffs experience than Johnson before he came to the Astros. Prior to 1998, Johnson had a 2-3 record with a 3.52 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings. In 1998, Johnson pitched 14 innings with 17 strikeouts and a 1.93 ERA in two starts.
Next: Astros potential trade targets are pitching better lately
Everyone packed into the Astrodome when Johnson pitched, the same could happen for Verlander. Verlander will also not be a free agent at the end of the year. Johnson was a left-handed flame thrower, but Verlander could bring the same skill set from the right side. He could be their number one target to not deplete the farm system.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***