It’s official, the Detroit Tigers are now entering a full rebuild mode.
After trading away J.D. Martinez, Justin Wilson and Alex Avila last month, the Tigers completed a trade earlier today that sent Justin Upton to the Los Angeles Angels, and now they have agreed to trade 6-time all-star pitcher Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros.
Houston acquired Verlander from Detroit at the very last minute, per several reports. It was originally reported the trade was close to happening, with Verlander exercising his full no-trade clause to prevent the deal. MLB Insider Jon Morosi is reporting that Verlander’s preferred destination was Chicago to join the Cubs, which is why Verlander let the proposed trade come down to the wire.
It’s also important to note that Astros owner Jim Crane revealed that Verlander was a little reluctant to accept the trade at first because of the Cubs factor, but it seems like the Cubs didn’t have the pieces that the Astros did to acquire Verlander in the end.
In Chicago, Verlander would’ve joined a starting rotation that features Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jose Quintana as their main pitchers. Quintana was of course acquired by the Cubs in July for Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Matt Rose, and Bryant Flete.
Instead, Verlander will bolster an Astros team and rotation that has had interest in him for a long period of time. With Lance McCullers currently on the disabled list, the Astros rotation has been Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton, Mike Fiers, Collin McHugh, and Brad Peacock. Verlander will likely take Peacock’s place in the rotation, but it will be interesting to see who gets the boot when McCullers is ready to return.
In return for Verlander, the Tigers received three prospects from the Astros, with right-handed pitcher Franklin Perez being the biggest piece in the trade. The 19-year-old Perez is the 3rd best prospect in the Astros organization, per MLB Pipeline. Another 19-year-old prospect is going to Detroit as well, with Daz Cameron, the son of former MLB outfielder Mike Cameron also in the haul. The final piece to the trade is catcher Jake Rogers, who is highly regarded for his defense.
With Verlander still due over $75 million on his contract that runs through the 2020 season, the Tigers are shipping cash to the Astros to complete the deal. Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan is reporting that at least $10 million is being sent Houston’s way.
The 34-year-old Verlander is 10-8 on the season with a 3.82 earned run average and 176 strikeouts scattered across 172 innings this season.
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*With several official details regarding the Justin Verlander trade still coming public, this story will be updated with more information once said information is confirmed.*