Because you are a very smart and studious person, you know that, even after the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, players can still be traded. You also know, because you are handsome and powerful and magnanimous, that such trades are subject to the waiver system, the details of which you can read about in our writeup from earlier this week.
And because you know these things, you also know that this news is to be greeted with little more than a thoughtful, approving nod, rather than a shrieking squeal of excitement:
The #Tigers placed Justin Verlander on revocable waivers today, source says. Name came up at the deadline, but he stayed put in Detroit.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) August 2, 2017
With a contract that is set to pay him $28 million in each of the next two seasons, plus a $22 million vesting option that he may require to be vested before he approves any transaction (he has that ability, because of his 10-5 no-trade rights), Justin Verlander is a very good bet to clear waivers, and thus be freely tradable in August. Even if he didn’t clear waivers, the Tigers would have the option of orchestrating a trade with the claiming team, or simply pulling him back.
Will the Cubs claim Verlander? Although there were many rumors of their interest in the 34-year-old righty even after the team acquired Jose Quintana, I don’t think they’ll want to risk being saddled with such a significant payroll hit if the Tigers were simply to say, “OK, you claimed him, he’s yours.”
Instead, to the extent there’s a Cubs-related impact here at all, I would say only that it’s notable the Tigers are putting Verlander on waivers immediately (there is a limit on the number of players you put on there per day), which will leave them with maximum time to negotiate a trade. Absent an injury, I don’t know that the Cubs would be pushing aggressively for a deal right now, rather than perhaps re-approaching the Tigers after the season. If the Tigers are willing to eat enough salary, I can definitely see a situation where Verlander becomes an attractive trade target for the Cubs in an offseason that now features a depressed starting pitching market.
In any case, reports had it that the Tigers wanted Javy Baez or Ian Happ for Verlander (and they also weren’t keen on eating much salary), so if the Tigers’ expectations don’t change dramatically, there will be no deal to be head between these teams anyway.
That is all to say: yes, I do think Verlander should stay on your radar, but I seriously doubt the teams re-engage in significant trade talks until after the season.