Monday brings us baseball fans to the non-waiver trade deadline day, but news broke this morning that at least one big name will be staying put.
The Detroit Tigers have been one of the teams willing to sell at the 2017 deadline and one pitcher, in particular, was a big name being thrown around. Starter Justin Verlander has been rumored to be on the block for most of the season. It now seems he and teammate Justin Upton will be in Detroit for awhile longer.
Justin Upton hadn’t been a name that was in a ton of rumors, but Justin Verlander certainly was. Upton would have been a nice outfield bat to add to a contender, but teams tend to value pitching quite a bit at the trade deadline. Verlander was rumored to be of interest to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, and a few other teams. The Tigers have elected to hold onto Verlander for the rest of the 2017 season, leaving Texas starter Yu Darvish as the big pitching domino to fall.
From the Detroit perspective, it was always going to be somewhat difficult to move Verlander in the middle of the season. Firstly, Verlander is 34 years old and has seen his performance take a step back this season. His ERA has jumped up to 4.29 compared to 3.04 in 2016. His K/9 has decreased from 10 to 8.9 and his WHIP is a bloated 1.438.
Secondly, his contract status made it so few teams could even inquire about possibly trading for Verlander. He still has three years remaining with salaries of $28 million, $28 million and $22 million. The Tigers will almost certainly have to pay some of that money or take very little in potential return.
Detroit is seemingly in full rebuild mode. They have already traded relief pitcher Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night. They traded outfielder J.D. Martinez to the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this month. It appears Justin Verlander and Justin Upton won’t help the rebuilding effort until this offseason.