8:39pm: Andy Martino of SNY tweets that a deal between the Astros and Mets is not imminent, though it’s certainly possible talks could yet pick up steam.
7:14pm: The Astros and Mets continue to discuss possible Justin Verlander trades, reports Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic. Rosenthal writes that New York is trying to deal the future Hall of Famer before tomorrow evening’s deadline. Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that talks between Houston and the Mets have accelerated within the past day.
It’s unclear how likely a deal is to pull off. Nightengale notes the Dodgers remain in the picture, for one. There’s also the matter of Verlander’s hefty contract and full no-trade rights, although the reigning AL Cy Young winner is certainly plenty familiar with Houston. Astros GM Dana Brown said on MLB Network Radio this afternoon the club was no longer prioritizing adding to the rotation; Rosenthal writes that Houston owner Jim Crane could get involved in discussions to try to bring Verlander back though.
More broadly, Chandler Rome of the Athletic tweets that Houston is now again focused on the rotation. The Astros expect to welcome José Urquidy back from the 60-day injured list this week, reducing the need for a depth pickup. Of course, a Verlander acquisition would be far more than that.
It’s a fascinating situation two days after the Mets traded Max Scherzer to the Rangers. Verlander could well follow his former teammate out of Queens, and it seems there’s genuine interest on the Astros’ part in making them direct competitors for an AL West title. Verlander has a 3.15 ERA despite an average 21% strikeout rate through 16 starts. He’s making $43.333MM in each of the next two seasons and has a $35MM vesting/player option for the 2025 campaign. The Mets would certainly have to kick in some money, as they did with Scherzer, but figure to be open to doing so as they look to continue adding upside to the farm system.