Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander Market Dwindles & That’s Ok
With Chris Sale signing in Boston and the unbelievably high payroll that belongs to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the market for Justin Verlander has all but disappeared.
In order to sign a pitcher with a contract like Detroit Tigers Justin Verlander, a team has to have money to burn.
And there just aren’t many of those teams left.
There are just a handful of teams that could actually afford Verlander. But how many would want to take on an aging pitcher – even if it is the one and only JV?
Is There Still a Market at All?
A few Michigan writers think JV’s market value just increased with the Sale trade. Evan Woodbery with MLive is one of those writers. He said: “Justin Verlander’s value could go up now that Sale is off the market, although it seems increasingly unlikely that the Tigers plan to deal him.”
Another writer who thinks Verlander will not be a Tiger is perennial Verlander critic Lynn Henning with The Detroit News. Henning thinks that Verlander’s next home will be with the Washington Nationals. Alongside Max Scherzer. Yeah, twist that knife a little deeper, Mr. Henning.
The Nats do have room on their payroll for the $28 million that JV commands and they have a few pieces that would fit with the Tigers. One of their young prospects was actually on the Tigers’ radar in 2015.
It is clear that Verlander would deliver a haul of prospects to the Tigers, but is giving up THE Justin Verlander worth it?
Verlander is a Lifer in Detroit
Players like Justin Verlander do not come along very often. Honestly, the Tigers trading away Verlander at this point in his career would be like Tigers trading away Al Kaline, Alan Trammell, or Lou Whitaker. It would be like the Yankees trading away Derek Jeter. It just shouldn’t happen.
JV is a mainstay in Detroit. And, Detroit has benefitted from having him play for the Tigers. With all of the money that Verlander has made playing baseball ($130 million so far), does he really still need baseball – at least financially? Probably not. But baseball in Detroit still needs him. His leadership on the mound and in the dugout are still valuable to the team and the city.
Wins for Warriors Helps Detroit
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His Wins for Warriors charity is headquartered in downtown Detroit and his foundation hosts many events in Southeast Michigan. It would be a big blow to Detroit to lose a valuable organization like that.
In today’s world of baseball, few players become the faces of their team and stay that way. Justin Verlander should remain a Tiger until the day he retires. There aren’t many “lifers” left. JV is certainly in unique company with only 10 other current players like Dustin Pedroia and Felix Hernandez who have spent 10 or more years with the same team.
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I, for one, am looking forward to Verlander taking the field on Opening Day at Comerica Park on Friday, April 7 when the Tigers face the Red Sox. Who knows, maybe Chris Sale will be his opponent, yet again?