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A Mystery Team Has Reportedly Emerged on Justin Verlander as Waiver Trade Deadline Looms

Chicago Cubs Rumors, MLB News and Rumors

The waiver trade deadline is tomorrow – as a shocking Mike Leake trade rumor pops up – and that all may have you wondering … what the heck is the “waiver trade deadline”? The very short version is that it’s the date by which players must be in an organization in order to be eligible to be on that team’s postseason roster.


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In other words, you can still make trades in September (subject to the trade waiver rules), but there’s a lot less incentive to do so, since guys acquired then can’t be put on your postseason roster.

So, then, with a deadline approaching tomorrow, the big names who’ve popped up in waiver rumors will be popping up again. And so it is with oft-discussed trade target Justin Verlander, who has cleared waivers, but whom very few expect to be traded by tomorrow’s deadline.

For example, Jon Heyman wrote this week that the Tigers aren’t believed to be involved in any serious talks right now about Verlander.


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But maybe things have changed slightly with the deadline tomorrow? So says Jon Morosi:

MYSTERY TEAM!

And here you thought that was just for July.

So, before you go nuts, I still believe it would be an extreme surprise to see the Cubs going after Verlander at this point. Not only was the reported asking price in July a combination of Ian Happ or Javy Baez PLUS taking on the majority of Verlander’s contract (which pays him $28 million each of the next two seasons, when he will be 35 and 36), but the Cubs have also seen a resurgence from John Lackey and a continued emergence from Mike Montgomery. I don’t know that the urgency to add Verlander right now is all that strong.


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The only caveat there would be that I do very much see the Cubs as a suitor for Verlander in the offseason, and if they believed for some reason that their only chance to get him (before another team does) is to trade for him right now, well, then, maybe they see if the Tigers get a lot more realistic in their requests.

We’ll keep an eye on this one to see if it goes anywhere before the deadline tomorrow.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

On the year – which followed a Cy Young caliber campaign in 2016 – Verlander has posted a 3.90 ERA, a 4.09 FIP, and has shown strong velocity. In his last 10 starts, though, he’s flashed vintage Verlander, posting a 2.38 ERA, a 3.72 FIP, a 27.8% K rate, and a 7.0% BB rate.

If the Cubs could get the Tigers to eat just a little salary, and make the commitment after this season something like two years and $36 million? That’s a very valuable piece, albeit with some risk.


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.