For the second time in seven trade deadlines, the Astros have traded for future Hall-of-Famer Justin Verlander. Houston was desperate for some starting pitching depth, and they've obtained it through one of their best arms in franchise history.
Verlander's first chapter in Houston was legendary. JV went 61-19 in an Astros jersey, recording. 2.26 ERA and 0.83 WHIP en route to two Cy Young Awards and two World Series rings.
After a brief intermission with the Mets, the show goes on. Verlander is back in Houston. The Astros have acquired their ace again for his second chapter, but it cost them dearly.
Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford are headed to New York in the deal. It remains unclear how much of Verlander's salary the Mets will be retaining.
Gilbert was the Astros top ranked prospect across the board, though I think Clifford is the bigger loss. The Astros were able to sign Clifford last year as an 11th round draft pick after going way above slot for $1,256,530, making it the second-highest signing bonus for an 11th-round selection ever.
Clifford just turned 20 12 days ago, and has posted a .271 average with a .903 OPS in 58 high-A games.
Though many in the industry panned the Astros farm system, in the newest Baseball Prospectus update, Gilbert was going to be ranked 36th in the top 100 with Clifford slotting somewhere in the 80's.
Both Gilbert and Clifford are tough losses, but with Yordan Alvarez already signing an extension, the emergence of Chas McCormick, and at least a couple more years of Kyle Tucker, outfield was a depth position for the Astros. The loss of both makes extending Kyle Tucker even more important moving forward.
The Astros can now return to a six-man rotation moving forward. The addition of Verlander will go a long way to keeping arms fresh in both the rotation and the bullpen. It's full speed ahead for a World Series repeat and the solidification of dynasty status.