Earlier this week, as expected, the Detroit Tigers placed Justin Verlander on trade waivers – as teams do with so very many players in August – and, also as expected, he has reportedly cleared waivers.
Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander has cleared revocable trade waivers, I'm told.
— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) August 4, 2017
It’s no surprise that teams were unwilling to claim the 34-year-old righty and his contract, which pays him the balance of $28 million this year, and then $28 million each of the next two years.
Verlander is now freely tradable through the end of the year, though the Tigers will have the same problem drumming up a market that they had in July: namely, they can get some value for him, or they can save a whole bunch of salary, but they can’t do both.
Having acquired Jose Quintana, returned Kyle Hendricks from the DL, and seen John Lackey rebound, the Cubs are probably feeling much less urgency to deal for an arm like Verlander right now, as opposed to re-exploring talks after the season. If Verlander continues to rebound this year, and if the Tigers are realistic about eating some salary going forward, I could see two years of Verlander (plus a $22 million option for 2020, if he requires that it is picked up to approve a trade) being a really nice fit for the Cubs.