Once again, the Astros have been linked to Tigers’ pitcher Justin Verlander. I’ve lost count on how many times this exact rumor has been rehashed.
There are two situations you can bank on in Houston this summer: Hot weather with humidity and a Justin Verlander-to-the-Astros rumor. I’m not sure which is more annoying yet.
Simply put, I dislike rehashing “old” rumors in which information hasn’t necessarily changed. The only reason I do so is to say that I actually did write something beforehand in case a trade actually happens.
Let’s jump to the actual rumor now.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported earlier today that the Astros and Tigers were once again discussing a Verlander trade.
All in all, there isn’t much “new” news to this report. The Astros are still in need of another starting pitcher. The Tigers are interested in ridding themselves of Verlander’s contract along with acquiring prospects. There has yet to be an agreement because of these factors.
As Heyman notes in his article, the odds of a trade being consummated is a “long shot“.
"Though the two sides spoke last week, completing a deal won’t be easy; sources say a finalized deal remains a “long shot” and that the two sides haven’t spoken in the last few days."
Remember Verlander is in his age-34 season and is still owed $56 million over the next two seasons. He also has a 2020 option for $22 million if certain criteria are met. But the longtime Detroit pitcher has been one of the better starters in baseball as of late.
Last 7 GS: 47 IP, 1.91 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 4.09 xFIP, 16 BB, 50 SO
Maybe second-half Verlander is legit? I’d admit his recent numbers would look good in an Astros uniform.
Of course, Heyman did mention that communication hasn’t taken place in recent days. And it is easy to see why.
- Money owed from 2018-19
- The 2020 option
- Prospects not on the 40-man roster to be sent to Detroit
- Verlander’s 10-5 no-trade rights
Remember Houston will most likely send players not on the 40-man roster for a trade to take place. They could, in theory, include players on the 40-man, but they must clear waivers. And the possibility of this happening, especially for appealing players, is virtually nonexistent.
At this point in time, a Verlander-to-Houston trade remains highly unlikely. There is an obvious fit, but the potential roadblocks to a deal could very well be too much for anything to materialize. Pay attention, though, as a trade is not 100% impossible.
**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs**