Justin Verlander could make the trade deadline for the Astros
Every fan loves a reunion with a former player especially when the player is the caliber of Justin Verlander. Houston fans are well acquainted with what Verlander can do on the mound as he won a pair of Cy Young awards during his time with Houston while posting a 2.33 ERA from 2018 to 2022.
It was a decidedly big blow when Verlander decided to leave Houston to sign with the Mets. However, with the Mets forgetting how to play baseball in 2023, Houston does seem to have an opportunity to bring Verlander back into the fold and there has been some noise that Houston wouldn't mind a reunion with JV at the deadline even if the current price tag for him is giving everyone heartburn.
While the 2023 season did not get off to the best start for Verlander with the Mets as he dealt with an injury and then struggled upon returning, he has looked more like his usual dominant self the last couple of months. There just isn't a starting pitcher on the trade market right now that comes remotely close to the upside that Verlander could provide and the Astros know him as well as anybody.
There are some problems with a potential Verlander deal. First is that he is owed a boatload of money over the next couple of years. His over $43 million per season for 2023 and 2024 is much higher than the Astros would be happy about paying and significantly more than they paid Verlander during his time in Houston. There is also the question of his no-trade clause, but it is doubtful that Verlander would veto a move to Houston given his history with the team.
Another issue is that it sounds like the Mets are putting a high price tag on Verlander given the potential two additional years of team control attached to him. Dana Brown already doesn't sound like a guy that loves the prices on the trade market right now (more on that in a second), so he probably really isn't likely what the Mets are asking for Verlander.