Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Being realistic about buy-sell-trade ideas with Verlander

kris10bentley
Jun 15, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) pitches in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 15, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) pitches in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Unless something magical happens and the Detroit Tigers begin to win an incredible amount of games, it is likely that Al Avila will have to do something with the team at the trade deadline.

Detroit Tigers fans have their ideas about who should stay and who should go.

While there is no way to get into Al Avila’s head to see who or what he is considering, there are some ideas out there that seem incredibly unrealistic.

One of the ridiculous ideas that I’ve heard thrown around lately is trading Justin Verlander for Cody Bellinger. Over the winter, there was a rumor that the Los Angeles Dodgers were interested in Verlander. The Dodgers are one of just a few teams that could actually afford the pricey right-handed Cy Young winner. I’m as big a Justin Verlander fan as anyone, but I can’t see any reason why the Dodgers would trade a hot young guy like Bellinger for an arm that has faced 10,000 batters.

Apr 12, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias (right) and pitcher Justin Verlander (left) celebrate after the game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Detroit won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 12, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias (right) and pitcher Justin Verlander (left) celebrate after the game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Detroit won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Bellinger has made is his way through the Dodgers minor league system and is working toward Rookie of the Year numbers. Since pitchers and position players have totally different stats, the only comparison are WAR and runs scored and allowed. Bellinger currently has a 1.9 WAR and has scored 34 runs for his team. Verlander has a 0.9 WAR and has given up 43 runs. As a rookie, Bellinger is under team control for several years.

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The Tigers still owe Verlander $28 million in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Financially, it doesn’t make much sense for the Dodgers to get involved in a trade of this nature. Add to it, the fact that Verlander should be worth more than just one young guy who can hit home runs.

Even though Verlander is not pitching like he did in 2017, he is still an asset to the team. He has been a Tiger from the moment he was drafted in 2004. Now in his mid-30’s, Verlander does have a legacy to consider. He has the numbers to be a Hall of Fame candidate and he should be enshrined in a Tigers uniform. It is unimaginable to think of Verlander in any other uniform. The Tigers need him – not just as a player, but as a legacy and team leader – like Alan Trammell and Al Kaline.

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However, since baseball is a business, there is a chance that Verlander could be placed on the trading block in July. That right-handed arm does still have value. If the Tigers do decide to serve him up, it should only be to the highest bidder. He should not be traded for just one young hitter.

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