Insider Speculates a Team as Possible Trade Partner for Verlander

Insider Speculates Surprise Team as Possible Trade Partner for Justin Verlander

The Houston Astros were anticipated to be respectable postseason contenders going into 2024. However, despite playing 42 games in the regular season, Houston is still struggling to establish itself. Should that fail to materialize, is it possible that Justin Verlander, the starting pitcher, will be traded at the deadline? And may a landing position with the Detroit Tigers be possible?

That was mentioned as a possibility by Jon Heyman of the New York Post during a live feed of Bleacher Report on May 15. The Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Dodgers were among the other teams he mentioned as potential matches.

The Tigers are the only team in this group that is currently averaging about.500. As of May 15, they are only four games behind in the American League Wild Card race despite their 21-22 record. Verlander’s special bond with Detroit is the only other club in this group. In the 2004 MLB Draft, the Tigers selected him with the second overall pick. In the end, he lived in the Motor City for 13 years and became one of the league’s most dominant pitchers.

During his tenure with the Tigers, Verlander earned two of his three Cy Young Awards, an MVP Award, and the Rookie of the Year Award. The right-hander certainly didn’t anticipate that Detroit would be mentioned as a possible trade partner this season, but it is.

Verlander Isn’t Ready to Be Available for the Astros
Astros general manager Dana Brown isn’t prepared to lose up on his team despite a start that has been unexpectedly bad. “I don’t see any chance of us becoming sellers,” Brown stated in an appearance on MLB Network’s MLB Now on May 7. I feel that the team is overly skilled. Positive things will happen if the boys start to turn around.

It’s understandable why Houston isn’t yet prepared to raise the white flag. Since 2017, they have been among the most successful clubs in baseball. They have participated in the American League Championship Series for the past seven years in a row, winning two World Series.

This past winter, they invested heavily in the roster by signing closer Josh Hader to a five-year, $95 million deal. Houston also pursued starting pitcher Blake Snell before he signed with the San Francisco Giants.

But the longer it takes for the club to turn things around and climb the standings, questions about them becoming sellers will continue to linger. Even if Brown and his front office decide to trade Verlander, they’ll need buy-in from the veteran.

When the New York Mets sent him back to Houston at the 2023 deadline, Verlander had to waive his no-trade clause to make it happen.

What Could Motivate Verlander to OK a Potential Trade?

Outside of a half-season in Queens to start 2023, Verlander has been with the Astros since September 2017. It’s a place where his career continued to flourish while adding those elusive World Series rings to an already impressive resume.

Even if he didn’t want to change teams again, there is a factor that could convince him: trying to win one more championship. The 2024 campaign is Verlander’s 19th in the big leagues. While he’s been on record saying he’d like to pitch into his mid-40s, the righty is currently 41 years old. There may not be many legitimate opportunities left for Verlander to win another Fall Classic.

He might be tempted to consider if a legitimate suitor, such as the Orioles or Dodgers, shows up.

It’s all hypothetical for now, though. The Astros will continue trying to dig themselves out of an early-season hole while simultaneously avoiding the question of selling at the deadline.

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