Since the start of the offseason, Justin Verlander’s name has been thrown around in trade talks. Even though Verlander has taken a step down from his elite production last year, teams are still scouting him and considering his availability.
A trade that would include Verlander looks to be inevitable at this point in time, as the Tigers are ten games under .500. Justin Verlander does, however, have to approve the trade before it can become official because of his no-trade clause. A team that trades for Verlander may not only be looking for his help pitching but also to mentor the young pitchers they have.
Houston Astros: The Astros are an up and coming team down in the AL West. They have a young core of players including all-stars Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer. The biggest need for the Astros is to solidify the starting rotation with an experienced veteran. Besides for Lance McCullers Jr., the Astros have had a lack of reliable pitching, with most having a 3.80 ERA or higher. Along with needing help with pitching, they have young starting pitching prospects including the likes of Francis Martes, David Paulino, Jandel Gustave, and Brady Rogers that could all be helped by being teammates with someone like Justin Verlander.
Chicago Cubs: Last year’s World Series champions have not had the season they hoped they would have had. The Cubs are hovering around .500 due to their unreliable pitching staff. None of the pitchers that are currently in Chicago’s rotation have below a 3.60 ERA.
Los Angeles Dodgers: The endless payroll ran out in the offseason as the MLB told the Dodgers they would have to cut some salary. The pitching rotation could use some help behind star lefty Clayton Kershaw and the breaking-out Alex Wood. In the offseason, the Dodgers signed lefty Rich Hill to help, but the lesser covered acquisition of Alex Wood has helped the Dodgers out more.
Justin Verlander does have full command of what team he goes to. Houston, Los Angeles, and Chicago all make sense if he wants to win now. The teams also make sense for the Tigers as each team has a fair share of top-class prospects.