The Houston Astros might be Justin time to start some interesting rumors.
The market for Detroit Tigers closer Justin Wilson has been hot, with at least 10 different teams showing interest. Meanwhile, Tigers ace Justin Verlander has drawn very little serious interest since trade talks became more serious ahead of the deadline.
Now, it would appear there’s at least one team showing interest in both Justins.
Sources indicate the Astros, who have recently been strongly linked to Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray, are also testing the waters of a potential Justin Wilson/Justin Verlander combo deal with the Tigers.
The Astros, with the best record in the American League right now, seem poised to do whatever it takes to get themselves to the postseason (and beyond) this year, including making some big trade moves to bolster their starting pitching and bullpen. While bullpen interest has been a focus for most contending teams, the Astros are among the few to be showing legitimate interest in Verlander.
Verlander’s no-trade clause could make this combo deal a tough sell. But, with the Astros all but certain to make their way into the postseason this year, if Verlander wants a shot at a World Series victory, he might jump at the opportunity.
One concern is whether including Verlander in the deal might undervalue Wilson, who is drawing interest from the likes of the Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals as well. Would the Tigers be willing to accept a lesser return on Wilson if it meant being able to offload more of Verlander’s contract?