Perhaps more so than years past the Detroit Tigers seem willing, if not intent, on becoming sellers at the July 31 trade deadline. Over recent days the Tigers are said to have begun shopping Alex Avila, Ian Kinsler and Justin Verlander, among others.
In the case of Verlander, Detroit reportedly has aggressively pursued potential trades involving the veteran right-hander. That may be an attempt to capitalize on a strong market that includes the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers.
While the Dodgers may look to trade for a starting pitcher before the non-waiver deadline, it doesn’t appear they will do so for Verlander, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
Count the Dodgers out of the Justin Verlander sweepstakes, not that they were ever in. The Dodgers are trying to get away from Verlander-type contracts, particularly as they face ongoing luxury-tax concerns.
Although the stance and situation could certainly change, the Dodgers trading for Verlander hardly seemed a plausible scenario. The 34-year-old is in the midst of a down season and is owed $28 million in 2018 and 2019, plus has a $20 million vesting option for 2020.
The Tigers reportedly are willing to pay the remainder of Verlander’s 2017 salary, which at this stage amounts to just under $11 million. That alone may not entice clubs to take on the veteran. Further complicating matters for the Tigers is Verlander holds a full no-trade clause.
The Dodgers may have been more willing to acquire him as part of a larger trade that included closer Justin Wilson. He’s among the left-handed relief pitchers Los Angeles has been connected to in recent weeks.
Verlander on the year is 5-7 with a 4.50 ERA, 4.21 FIP and 1.44 WHIP in 21 starts. He’s fared better of late, pitching to a 2.77 ERA in his last four starts. The Dodgers reportedly scouted Verlander last week in his start against the Tampa Bay Rays.