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MLB trade rumors: Astros, Tigers ‘still apart’ in Justin Verlander trade talks

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The Astros are looking to reinforce their rotation after recent struggles.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros and Tigers have reportedly tried to resume talks of a trade involving Justin Verlander, though a deal still seems like a long-shot, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

According to Heyman, the two teams spoke last week but have gone a few days without any further talks. The Astros remain interested given Verlander’s recent return to form. The 34-year-old has slimmed his ERA down to 3.97 after starting the month of July with an ERA of 4.96. Since July 2nd, Verlander has yet to surrender more than three runs in a start, and most recently tossed eight shutout innings against the Pirates last week.

The major obstacle for both teams to overcome would be the $56 million that Verlander is set to make over the next two seasons. In all likelihood, the Tigers would have to pay some of the remaining money if a deal is to be made, while the Astros would have to decide if they want to part ways with any of their coveted prospects for a chance to win it all this season.

With Lance McCullers Jr. still weeks away from a return, and Dallas Keuchel taking some time to return to form after a DL stint of his own, the Astros need starting pitching help to overcome their recent struggles. They have a comfortable lead atop the AL West, but their overall performance this season has created World Series expectations, despite some injuries to the rotation.

Verlander has cleared waivers and is now able to be dealt to any team, but would have to approve any deal before it is made. He has said he would be willing to go to a contending team, which the Astros certainly qualify as given their 72-46 record.