The Los Angeles Dodgers have had a solid week in the days leading up to the August 1 trade deadline as they’ve acquired a starting pitcher in Lance Lynn, a bullpen arm in Joe Kelly, and infield help in the form of Kiké Hernandez and Amed Rosario.
With that business having been settled, LA still has just under 24 hours until the trade deadline hits on Tuesday at 3 PM, and they’re looking for a second starting pitcher to add to the fold.
Verlander has had a great season, posting a 3.15 ERA through his last outing on Sunday, and he’s also seen teammate Max Scherzer dealt to the Texas Rangers as the Mets begin a rebuilding phase.
It took the Rangers giving up their No. 2 prospect in infielder Luisangel Acuna plus picking up only $22.5 million of Scherzer’s $43 million salary in 2024 to bring him to the Lone Star State.
The 40-year old Verlander could see himself on the move between now and Tuesday afternoon, but the Mets are said to have placed a much higher trade value on Verlander than they did Scherzer, per SNY’s Andy Martino.
“The Mets are listening when teams call on Justin Verlander, but are placing an extremely high value on him — which on Sunday led to a growing belief in the industry that Verlander will stay put through Tuesday’s deadline, according to multiple rival executives.
Teams expecting the type of salary relief that the Mets gave the Texas Rangers for Max Scherzer — approximately $35 million — are finding that the Mets are valuing Verlander differently. Trading partners wanting cash in a Verlander trade are finding the prospect ask much higher.”
That makes any deal for Verlander complicated, as many potential trading partners — including LA — may not be willing to pay such a high price for him.
Another obstacle beyond simply money and prospects is the fact that the pitcher has a no-trade clause in his contract. That essentially means that Verlander would have to approve any deal, and although nothing has come out to indicate that he wouldn’t approve an LA trade, he does have a preferred destination in the Houston Astros, per The Athletic.
According to the report, Verlander’s relationship with Houston and Astros owner Jim Crane is part of why Verlander would prefer to make a return there.
“Talks are fluid, and subject to change. But multiple sources briefed on the discussions told The Athletic on Monday that the Astros remain involved in the Verlander talks. Some believe a return to Houston is the future Hall of Famer’s preferred outcome, citing, in part, his relationship with Crane.”
via The Athletic
When taking a look at the plethora of factors involved, from Verlander’s current money, a vesting option that could come into play in the 2025 season, and his personal desire to head back down to Houston, all of those seem to make a Verlander trade to Los Angeles unlikely, if not impossible.
Of course, things can change quickly at the trade deadline, so while it looks like their odds for the Mets pitcher are stacked against them, nothing is a guarantee until Verlander is officially dealt — back to the Astros or anywhere else.
Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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