How much would the Tigers need to pay to facilitate a Justin Verlander trade to the Houston Astros?
The Houston Astros are looking for a pitcher with playoff experience to help them in the playoffs. Jon Morosi suggested the Astros could be after Sonny Gray or a package of Justin Verlander and Justin Wilson. While it is more likely that the Astros will trade for Gray, the idea of Verlander and Wilson is intriguing. Gray may be the cheaper option, but Verlander brings the ‘it’ factor.
Morosi took it to the next level and suggested that Verlander would probably waive his no trade clause to Houston. He suggested that Verlander has won a Cy Young award and an MVP award, but he has not won a World Series. Verlander has been a lifelong Tiger, so he would want to go to a team ready to win this year and next.
That was one of the reasons that are making a potential Verlander to Houston trade difficult, getting his approval. We don’t know for if Verlander will accept a trade to Houston, but he should if he wants the best chance to win. The other two issues are money and prospects needed to get the deal done. The prospects to be included depends on how much money the Tigers include and if Wilson is involved.
Do we know how much is needed?
Let’s talk money. Detroit Free Press writer Anthony Fenech helps us understand things from the Tigers side. Fenech suggests that “Verlander is owed roughly $70 million through 2019.” If the Astros were to make a trade for Verlander, it would be out of character for the front office. However, if the Tigers pay enough money, the Astros could be willing to make a move. Fenesh also says that the Astros are interested, but nothing is close.
According to Fenech, “the Tigers are willing to pay the rest of Verlander’s $28 million contract this season.” Fenech says that is not substantial at this point, but could be an idea of how much they are willing to include. That may not be enough to woo the Astros to make a deal. According to Fenech, the Tigers would need to pay $25-30 million of the contract to get the prospects they want in return.
That was based on a poll of MLB executives performed by the Free Press. Verlander is capable of turning around his season after almost winning the Cy Young Award last year. They would also need to get quality prospects to justify to fans for trading away their ace. Maybe the Tigers decide to hold onto him until the offseason.
If the Astros are willing to take on more salary, maybe it works out. These numbers are just rumors. In addition to what Morosi said earlier, he also mentioned the Astros could get away with trading Derek Fisher instead of Kyle Tucker. Ten days to go, who do you think the Astros trade for?
***Stats from Baseball-Reference and Anthony Fenech***