Some trade rumblings out of the Motor City…
- The Tigers are reportedly willing to pay the rest of Justin Verlander’s remaining 2017 salary in order to facilitate a deal, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports. This works out to roughly $10.89MM. Reports earlier this week indicated that Detroit was open to including some money as part of a Verlander deal, though according to rival executives who have spoken with Fenech, the Tigers would need to bump that figure up to $25MM-$30MM if the club hopes to receive a good prospect return for Verlander. The former Cy Young Award winner’s future salary obligations ($28MM in each of the next two seasons, and a $22MM vesting option for 2020) and his struggles in 2017 have greatly limited his trade value, though Fenech notes that teams like the Cubs and Dodgers still had scouts at Verlander’s most recent outing.
- The Cubs have expressed the most interest in catcher Alex Avila, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter links), and Nightengale feels Avila will be the next notable Tiger to leave Detroit now that J.D. Martinez has been traded. Nightengale figures the Tigers would “ideally” receive a mid-level prospect in exchange for Avila, who is enjoying a career year just before hitting free agency this winter. Detroit is reportedly getting a lot of interest in Avila, though the Cubs and Blue Jays are the only teams specifically linked to the catcher (and Toronto has since acquired Miguel Montero).
- Also from Nightengale, he reports that the Brewers “have been aggressive” in their pursuit of Tigers closer Justin Wilson. The Astros, Nationals, Rays and Red Sox are among the other teams known to be checking in on Wilson, who has only elevated his stock since taking over the ninth inning for Detroit. Milwaukee has been linked to any number of relievers and controllable starters, with Wilson joining such names as Brad Hand, Addison Reed and Sonny Gray.