Though the “trade deadline” is July 31, waiver trades can still be made afterward. The deadline for added players who will be eligible for the postseason roster is midnight Thursday, so there is bound to be some action — Justin Upton being dealt to the Angels. Reports earlier in August indicated that Tigers ace Justin Verlander had cleared waivers, meaning he was free to be traded to any team.with
Got all that? Good, because here’s a hot rumor with a pretty short shelf life:
Verlander is a career Tiger. He was their first-rounder (second overall pick) in 2004 and made his MLB debut the following year. In parts of 13 big-league seasons, he’s made 380 regular-season and 16 postseason starts for the Tigers. He’s won a Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and MVP.
Still, the Tigers are said by multiple reports to be in full-on rebuild mode. Verlander is 34 years old with $56 million due to him in 2018-19.
He’s also still productive. He finished second in AL Cy Young voting last season (and probably should have won). This season, he’s 10-8 with a 3.82 ERA (116 ERA+) and 176 strikeouts in 172 innings. Much like last season, though, he’s heating up as the season goes on. In his last 11 starts, he’s pitched to a 2.31 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 84 strikeouts in 74 innings.
As for which teams might be interested, pick any contending team that could use an extra starting pitcher and/or has room in the rotation next year. The Astros seem like an obvious fit, but they likely aren’t alone in discussing the possibility of adding Verlander. The Cubs have both Jake Arrieta and John Lackey hitting free agency after the season. The Angels could use the rotation help and just grabbed Upton. Would the Rangers get involved? The Nationals are clearly tired of losing in the first round of the playoffs and he’d make for a stacked postseason rotation…