The rumors are flying quickly this afternoon, and figure to stay that way until more of the big-name trade candidates names fly off the board.
For example, just recently, Brett addressed the rumors surrounding Tigers’ catcher Alex Avila, but there’s also a fresh Justin Verlander/Brewers/Cubs rumor to dissect.
Take a look:
On Justin Verlander: The Brewers are interested, I'm told, and the Cubs are said to be still monitoring the situation.
— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) July 20, 2017
Having missed out on starter Jose Quintana, the Milwaukee Brewers were often discussed among the many teams interested in adding Oakland A’s righty Sonny Gray. But given the earlier reports that the Astros were inching closer to a deal for Gray, it’s not impossible to imagine the Brewers pivoting towards Justin Verlander, one of the other “controlled” starting pitchers on the market.
But does this really make sense?
Verlander is owed just under $70 million over the next 2.5 years (it could be $22 million more if he uses his no-trade clause to ensure his 2020 option is picked up), and the Brewers grip on first is slipping by the day – with today’s loss to the Pirates, their lead over the Cubs just fell to a razor thin single games.
Add to that the fact that the Brewers are just at the beginning of their theoretically competitive window, and it’s easy to see that they may not want to rid themselves of many talented youngsters so soon, or burden themselves with a sizable financial commitment.
And, frankly, some of the same questions can be asked of the Cubs.
After already adding Jose Quintana and getting Kyle Hendricks back (which is to say nothing of the recent bounce backs from Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, and Mike Montgomery), adding another starting pitcher may not be in the cards – at least not one that is as old and costly as Verlander. The Cubs have the pieces to get Verlander if the Tigers are reasonable, but they might be better off punting on another starter until this winter when more, younger, and talented options are available via free agency.
It’s entirely possible, if not probable, that the Cubs’ interest in Verlander (and previously Gray, for that matter) is primarily designed to drive up the price on the Brewers.
However, at this point, with this many connections, it’s also possible that, at the right prospect cost and with the Tigers including enough salary to make Verlander an attractive longer-term risk, the Cubs are legitimately interested.
Strap yourselves in, friends, as the rumor-season is really heating up.