One of the biggest obstacles in a potential Justin Verlander trade is his contract. But according to a report from Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the Detroit Tigers may be willing to help in that regard.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 17, 2017
Obviously, how much Detroit is willing to help will go a long way in how realistic a trade is. Verlander is signed through 2019 at $28 million per year, with a $22 million vesting option for 2020 if he finishes in the top five in Cy Young voting in 2019.
As good as Verlander has been in the recent past, that’s still an awful lot to pay for a starting pitcher presently sporting a 4.66 ERA and 1.50 WHIP.
If the Tigers are willing to eat a good portion of that money, Verlander is still a risk worth taking. Over the 2015 and 2016 seasons, he posted a 3.17 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and finished second in Cy Young voting in 2016. So, he’s not far removed from being an elite pitcher and might be more inspired to get back to his old form on a contending team.