Justin Verlander has been traded to the Houston Astros, after a long night of back-and-forth between the two clubs. Verlander initially blocked a trade with his 5-and-10 rights, but relented just prior to the midnight waiver trade deadline. In return, the Tigers will receive prospects Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron, and Jake Rogers. The Tigers are also sending $8 million per year (a total of $16 million) to Houston for salary relief.
The trade comes after a summer of rumors that saw the star drawing interest from teams like the Astros, Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Dodgers. When Verlander wasn’t moved at the July 31 deadline it seemed likely he’d spend the remainder of the season with Detroit, but rumor continued to circulate, with Houston being the most frequently mentioned contender.
In the end, they ended up being the ones to get him.
Verlander has been with the Tigers since his 2005 debut, and in 13 seasons has appeared in 380 games. During his tenure with the team he won the Cy Young in 2011, and placed second for the award in both 2012 and 2016. He pitched two no-hitters, and has been an All-Star six times in a Tigers uniform. This past week he even collected his first career RBI.
It goes without saying that the loss of Verlander will be a hard blow to the fan base, who will miss the pitcher tremendously. No return would feel like enough, but this may have been the right move for a team hoping to get younger and leaner, and who seem to have gone all-in on a rebuild, trading J.D. Martinez, Alex Avila, Justin Wilson, and Justin Upton already this season.
At the end of the day, however, all Tigers fans will feel strange the first time we see Verlander take the mound in an Astros uniform.
Verlander’s final line with the Tigers, through 380 games was 183 wins, a 3.49 ERA, a 3.48 FIP, 1.191 WHIP, and 2373 strikeouts.