By: Evan Jankens
Will he stay or will he go? That is the biggest question surrounding the Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
Whether he is rumored to be traded to the Chicago Cubs, or it’s Al Avila saying he would be “extremely happy” to keep Verlander to the end, we will know by next Monday at 4 p.m. whether or not Verlander will be wearing the Old English D for the rest of the 2017 season.
ESPN’s David Schoenfield wrote an article breaking down trades that could happen for the best aces that are made available. On the list are Yu Darvish, Sonny Gray and Justin Verlander.
He broke down his article by contract status, comparable trades and trade possibilities and what might happen.
Schoenfield thinks that a Justin Verlander trade “would be complicated.”
Any Verlander trade would be complicated, as teams are reluctant to take on a big salary and give up premium prospects, so the Tigers might have to eat some of the money. Plus, Verlander isn’t having as good a season as he did last year, when he finished second in Cy Young voting. Still, reports of his demise certainly seem premature, and remember that he pitched his best baseball of 2016 in the second half.
He is basing those comments off of comparing a Verlander deal to that of Cole Hamels that went from the Phillies to the Rangers in 2015. Hammels was traded along with Jake Diekman to the Rangers for six players.
Only two teams were mentioned for a landing spot for Verlander and believe it or not one of those teams wasn’t the Chicago Cubs. Listing the Dodgers as the first landing spot for JV, the thought of the Dodgers trading their top prospects for him wouldn’t be conceivable. Instead Schoenfield thinks the Dodgers would give up “second tier” prospects.
The Dodgers can afford Verlander, but they might not consider him enough of an upgrade to trade away a package of prospects. Maybe the Tigers would consider digging into the Dodgers’ second tier of prospects, such as 2B Willie Calhoun and RHP Mitchell White.
The other team mentioned was the Milwaukee Brewers who had been recently connected with Ian Kinsler and Justin Wilson.
The Milwaukee Brewers could be a surprise team here because their payroll is so low that there is room to bring on Verlander’s salary, plus they have a highly rated farm system. The Yankees have the farm system depth to make a Hamels-like trade, with RHP Chance Adams a guy the Tigers would want.
Final thoughts from Schoenfield were what might happen.
A Verlander deal is probably a bigger long shot than a Darvish trade, though Verlander’s contract means he’s the type of player who could still be traded in August. Verlander had a solid outing on Monday, with nine K’s in seven innings. Could that be his final start in a Tigers uniform?
It seems that Sonny Gray and Yu Darvish will be dealt before Verlander, do you think trading Verlander after the deadline would be a better move for the Tigers?