Detroit Tigers fans saw the team’s face-of-the-franchise, Justin Verlander, traded on Wednesday night. The move signals the start of a rebuild, but the team has a bright future.
Trading Verlander will obviously be a tough pill to swallow for fans given what the ace has meant to the franchise and the city, but the three players acquired for the veteran give Detroit pieces to contend well into the future.
The Tigers announced the trade with the Houston Astros in a tweet on the team’s official Twitter account on Wednesday night.
Detroit tweeted the following:
"“We’ve acquired Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron & Jake Rogers from the Astros in exchange for Justin Verlander & a PTBNL or cash considerations.”"
The haul is one to get excited about, and it’s headlined by Perez.
Still just 19-years-old, the converted infielder already reached the Double-A level in Houston’s system this season.
That fact in itself is encouraging considering Perez’ age, however the right-hander has found plenty of success with Double-A Corpus Christi.
Playing against competition that is on average 5.1 years (!) older than him, Perez has pitched to a 3.09 ERA in 32 innings.
Perez being that advanced at only 19 is impressive enough, but the starter also mixes in four pitches.
In addition to a promising fastball that can hit the mid-90s, the right-hander throws a 12-6 curveball that could be a plus pitch, as well as well as a slider and a changeup.
All four pitches have the potential to be least above average in the Majors should Perez develop.
If he continues to develop at his current pace, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the prospect in Detroit down the stretch in 2018.
Even if he takes slightly longer to reach the Majors and begins pitching out of Detroit’s rotation in 2019, that’s a quick return for a pitcher who has the potential to be frontline starter.