The Houston Astros are in deep conversations with the New York Mets to trade for Justin Verlander.The Astros have been hobbled this year within their rotation as the injury bug has struck and they lost two starters for the year in Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers. Jose Urquidy is now set to return after missing a large chunk of the season. The Astros will be glad to have him back, but they are missing that third dynamic pitcher with experience, as their two rookie pitchers are doing well, but don’t have the playoff experience that a veteran like Verlander does.
Could this be the reunion year for the Houston Astros trade deadline deals? It is trending that way if the Astros can close the deal. The Astros and Mets are reportedly close on a deal, but the Astros want big help with Verlander’s salary, especially with his 2025 extension, which would likely be a similar deal to the Scherzer one if it gets done. The big question is what will it cost the Astros to get Verlander for a few more seasons?
Max Scherzer and cash got the Mets the Rangers' number 3 prospect (and a top 50 prospect) in Luisangel Acuña, and the Astros may have to follow suit if they want a reunion with Verlander. Drew Gilbert is the only Astros prospect in the MLB.com top 100 ranking right now, but should they trade him? I don’t see any value in trading Gilbert right now as he could be the heir to left field. Gilbert is crushing it right now in AA and could be a factor next spring training if he continues on his hot streak.
The Astros will then have to package a few players to acquire Verlander and Jacob Melton is their next highest ranked prospect and Colton Gordon is their top ranked pitching prospect if the Mets want an arm to replace Verlander. I could see the Astros being willing to part with either or both of those prospects, if they aren’t packaging a deal for a currently rostered player like Jake Meyers or Corey Julks in the outfield.
If I were Dana Brown, Jake Meyers would top my list of players to trade to get back a bigger return. Meyers is under team control through 2027 and would help them build a new roster. The Mets outfield consists of a 34, 35, and 30 year old, so I can see they would want some young help to rebuild and Meyer would fit that bill, as would Julks. I think any deal that sends Verlander to the Astros will involve multiple players from the Astros, and possibly one major league rostered player. The Astros can afford to lose Meyers and Jacob Melton or Colin Barber would be a likely pairing. That would give the Mets their top 5 team prospect and another player they could plug in right now.