By: Evan Jankens
If the Tigers do plan on trading Justin Verlander it appears one place he could wind up with would be the Chicago Cubs.
A story published by ESPN.com early Wednesday morning stated a couple players from the Cubs that would make sense in return to the Tigers.
Even if they want to keep Jimenez, they still have a logjam of position players, particularly if they believe Kyle Schwarber is still in their long-term plans (and, no, Schwarber isn’t good enough to be the centerpiece of a Verlander or Gray deal). They could make Ian Happ or Javier Baez part of a deal for a pitcher.
Earlier this week MLB.com’s Jon Morosti tweeted out the following about a potential Verlander to the Cubs trade: “#Cubs inquired to #Tigers on availability of Justin Verlander and Alex Avila, sources say, but sides have not engaged in trade negotiations.”
ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted about Verlander and the Cubs as well: “Teams asking about Justin Verlander; perception is DET looking for big,big,big return w/out salary offset. Owed $70m for rest of ’17,’18.’19.”
The story goes on to say that it doesn’t appear the Tigers are going anywhere as they sit at 37-45. Could winning 10 out of the next 12 prevent the Tigers from trading Verlander?
In the wild-card era since 1995, only 11 teams with a losing record on July 4 made the playoffs (and none won the World Series). I’ll throw in that none of those 11 were as bad as 37-45. The Tigers can hope for better second halves from Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, but even then they’re not a playoff team. It’s time to commit to a rebuild and Verlander, even with his 4.96 ERA and the $56 million owed him in 2018-19 (plus a $22 million vesting option for 2020), should bring a nice return in a season where so many teams will be scrambling for pitching help.
Do you think the Tigers will wind up trading Verlander by the deadline?