10:58pm: As covered in detail here, the sides managed to pull off a last-minute blockbuster.
10:55pm: The Astros were apparently unable to swing a last-minute deal to land Tigers ace Justin Verlander, though the reasons why remain unclear. Detroit News journalist Chris McCosky said a deal was mostly in place with the Astros, then said that Verlander had nixed the proposed arrangement, and finally concluded it wasn’t clear if Houston had backed out (links to Twitter). Meanwhile, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that it’s not yet clear what happened, but that the “Tigers are not blaming” the veteran right-handed hurler.
For Houston, this evidently represents the latest thwarted effort to add an impact arm. The club was reportedly close to landing Zach Britton and perhaps another pitcher at the non-revocable waiver deadline, but both deals fell through. Now, it seems, the team has missed on Verlander, who previously cleared revocable waivers but still maintained his full no-trade protection.
Talks between the teams were long been held up by an evident failure to agree on a return, but evidently gathered steam late today. As of midnight EST tonight, clubs can no longer add players from outside the organization and then utilize such players on their postseason roster.
The ’Stros are rich in prospects, but had remained hesitant to part with their best young talent while also taking on a significant piece of the $56MM still guaranteed to Verlander over the next two seasons. Meanwhile, the Tigers were said to be holding out for real talent in parting with one of their franchise’s best all-time players.