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MLB trade rumors: Tigers still discussing Justin Verlander trade

Justin Verlander may still be on the move before tonight’s waiver-trade deadline.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox Photo by Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Tigers starter Justin Verlander still has a chance to be moved in advance of tonight’s waiver-trade deadline, as Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported on Thursday afternoon.

Verlander, who is guaranteed $56 million over the next two seasons with a $22 million option for 2020 that vests if he finishes within the top 5 of 2019 Cy Young voting, has a full no-trade clause. However, Heyman reports that Verlander is believed to be willing to accept a trade to the Cubs, who could use some more rotation depth for this year and beyond—especially since Jake Arrieta and John Lackey will hit free agency this winter—as well as the Dodgers, who don’t have a particularly strong need for starters but seem to be willing to spend whatever it takes to increase their odds at winning the World Series. The Astros are the most logical fit for Verlander with their rotation worn down and struggling, but Heyman writes that it’s uncertain whether the veteran starter would accept a trade to Houston.

The luxury tax threshold could also be an issue for several potential suitors--in particular the Dodgers—as they explore taking on Verlander’s hefty salary.

Verlander, 34, has an ERA of 3.82 and a WHIP of 1.28 over 28 starts this season. While those numbers might not jump out at you, he’s been absolutely electric since the All-Star break, posting a 2.41 ERA and 0.91 WHIP while holding hitters to a .186/.238/.343 slash line over 67.1 innings. Obviously, his status as a borderline Hall of Fame candidate, six-time All-Star, and former AL MVP and Cy Young add to his value as well.