With the August trade period soon coming to a close, there has been a surge of interest in Tigers righty Justin Verlander, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network (via Twitter). Verlander is one of many veteran players to have cleared revocable waivers, though he also enjoys full no-trade protection.
Speculation has long focused on the Astros as a viable landing spot. While there have been indications that the sides have engaged in talks, though, none seem to have occurred of late — so far as is publicly known.
Interestingly, though, Morosi says another organization “has emerged as [a] possible suitor.” The new team with interest isn’t yet known, but surely it must be an organization with reasonable present expectations of pushing for a postseason berth.
That is an intriguing development, to be sure, but doesn’t necessarily suggest Verlander is likely to be on the move. Jon Heyman of Fan Rag suggested yesterday that the Tigers haven’t recently engaged in earnest with other organizations. Plus, there’s the matter of Verlander’s full no-trade protection. Though he has indicated he would at least strongly consider a move to a non-contender, he could also seek some compensation.
Most importantly, perhaps, Detroit has long been said to desire a fairly significant prospect return that arguably outstrips the value of the star righty’s contract. Verlander is owed $56MM for the following two seasons, which is a fairly hefty rate for a 34-year-old pitcher. He got off to a slow start this year, too, though he has posted a strong 3.34 ERA with 109 strikeouts and 37 walks over his last 105 innings (17 starts).