Verlander may hit the market because he has struggled this season after a stellar 2016 in which he finished second in the AL Cy Young Voting. Last year, Verlander led the American League in strikeouts for the fourth time in his career with 254 Ks and posted a 3.04 ERA over 227 2⁄3 innings. This year, the 34-year-old Verlander has a 4.47 ERA, struck out 94 hitters and walked an AL-high 44 batters, a year after only walking 57, in 94 2⁄3 innings.
But, as Passan mentions, there are many hoops that would need to happen if a Verlander deal would go down. The first is whether the Tigers are going to make Verlander available. The last known indication of the Tigers making anyone available was on May 26, when sources told Jon Morosi of MLB Network that they would make all veteran players available if they were not .500 or better by the end of June because they would like to get younger. The Tigers are currently 34-42 and fourth in the AL Central.
The second — and probably biggest — obstacle is Verlander would have to waive his no-trade clause, which is in effect, along with his 10-and-5 rights. Hassan said a source told him that if Verlander waived the clause, a move to a contender could “reinvigorate” him and could make an impact just like Randy Johnson did when he pitched for the Astros after being traded from the Mariners in 1998.
The third would be finding a team that would be willing to absorb Verlander’s huge contract. Verlander is owed $56 million over the next two seasons after signing a 10-year, $219.5 million deal in 2010.
If he does become available, Verlander would be the biggest name out there as far as starting pitching goes. Right now, Jose Quintana of the White Sox, Gerrit Cole of the Pirates and Sonny Gray of the Athletics are the top names expected to be moved.