Here’s a collection of reactions to the Tigers’ headline-grabbing trade of Justin Verlander to the Astros earlier this week.
- After the Tigers and Astros agreed on a deal, Verlander initially refused to waive his no-trade rights, Jon Morosi of MLB.com writes. Verlander wasn’t opposed to joining the Astros, but first he wanted to see if he could go to the Cubs, since he and fiancée Kate Upton like the city of Chicago. (Verlander was also interested in the Dodgers, although they weren’t actively involved in talks.) When it turned out the Tigers felt the Cubs weren’t offering enough value in a potential deal, Verlander signed off on the trade that would send him to the Astros.
- Bob Nightengale of USA Today has further details on discussions between Verlander and the Tigers that resulted in Verlander’s departure from Detroit. The Tigers ultimately told Verlander it would be “the Astros or nobody,” as Nightengale describes it. Verlander, who had some concerns about Houston as it dealt with Hurricane Harvey, spoke to Astros owner Jim Crane. “I told him, ’This town is going to be fine. It’s going to take time. You will be received great here. We’ve got a good team, a good manager, a good front office. There won’t be any problems here,'” says Crane.
- The Tigers’ decision to trade Verlander and Justin Upton was an “obvious rebuild move,” says Tigers GM Al Avila (via MLB.com’s Jason Beck). “We’re going to have a rough month of September, and next year may not be all that pretty, either,” says Avila. “But at some point in the near future, we expect this to turn around, that some of these prospects will be coming up and making a difference. And within a reasonable time then, we should be ready to go.”
- The trade shows the Astros will treat their coming playoff run as a “crusade” for their beleaguered city, Ken Rosenthal writes for the Athletic. The team already has a franchise-record payroll of around $130MM this season, and that figure could go higher next year. But the Astros are pushing to make it to the World Series, and Rosenthal writes that while a baseball trade hardly makes up for what’s currently a disastrous situation in Houston, it could perhaps be a “ray of sunshine” in an extremely dark time.
- Franklin Perez now ranks as the Tigers’ second-best prospect behind fellow righty Matt Manning, FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen opines in a review of the prospects in the swap. Longenhagen describes Perez as a polished teenager who has the potential to dominate, although he’ll have to increase his stamina to carry a big-league starter’s workload. He calls Daz Cameron a “fringe-to-average hitter with fringe game power” and a borderline future big-league starting outfielder.