The idea of trading for Ryan Braun has recently come up around here. While that was shot down for obvious reasons, it got me interested in the idea of trading away our own franchise player, Justin Verlander.
Let me preface this by saying this will not happen, nor should it happen. Verlander is the best pitcher on the planet, has two years of relatively inexpensive control left, and has expressed his interest in remaining a Tiger for life. It seems far more likely that he agrees to a lengthy extension rivaling that of Prince Fielder in total value. However, if for some reason the Tigers decide they'd rather build around Fielder and Miguel Cabrera, then it would make some sense to get the world in return for J.V. now.
There are very few teams in baseball right now that could gut their farm system for Verlander and still have any inflow of talent. The Texas Rangers are one of those teams. The Rangers also lack a top-of-the-rotation presence, as I believe that Matt Harrison and Yu Darvish project as more #2-type material. What would the Tigers get in return for Verlander? My hypothetical trade:
Jurickson Profar: Profar is a highly-regarded shortstop that is generally thought of as big-league ready. At the very least, he would be ready to take over for Jhonny Peralta after the 2013 season. By all accounts, Profar has excellent range, which would certainly make Lynn Henning happy. If Texas is unwilling to move Profar, they have established shortstop Elvis Andrus, although I would hope Dombrowski could pry away the big-name prospect.
Derek Holland: The Tigers would likely need an established big-league pitcher to add to the rotation, and the lefty Holland fits the bill. He has 4 years, $27.5 million remaining on his contract. Holland has decent strikeout and walk numbers, but tends to get burned by the longball. A move to Comerica Park would be an anti-Porcello of sorts, where the outstanding outfield defense would run down many of the fly balls he induces.
Craig Gentry: Gentry is a right-handed hitting speedy outfield that could slide into the platoon with Andy Dirks the fornt office has been looking for. Carrying an excellent glove and coming off of .759 OPS season, there is some real upside in Gentry.
Roughned Odor: Odor is another excellent infield prospect blocked by the cluster of talent at the big-league level. Odor is a second baseman who at the age of 18 would still be 3-4 years out, but could make a big impact in the lineup starting in 2015. The Tigers' willingness to extend Omar Infante would likely play a big role in Odor's inclusion in my mock trade.
C.J. Edwards: Edwards is a high-upside arm coming off of an excellent short-season stint. Although he would not make an impact immediately, it does not seem impossible to assume that he could fill the hold left by the departure of Fister or Scherzer. Only a slightly above-average prospect, but worth a look.
The Rangers would most likely not make a 5-to-1 trade, even for THE Justin Verlander. They need a right-handed outfielder, especially in this hypothetical situation where they lose Gentry. Therefore, the Tigers would likely offer their own right-handed outfielder, Avisail Garcia. Dombrowski has gone on the record saying that Garcia will get full playing time at whatever level he plays at. This means Garcia will be a Triple-A player in Detroit, but he could compete for a job immediately in Texas. This trade would seem to make sense for all sides.
I don't know. Maybe it's crazy. Give me your opinions on this "trade."