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What Verlander Would Mean To The Astros

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What Verlander Would Mean To The Astros

After a surprisingly quiet July 31st non-waiver trade deadline for the first-place Houston Astros, fans and players have expressed their disappointment in the team’s front office.

Offseason acquired outfielder Josh Reddick had this to say about the Astros’ actions or lack thereof:

“deep down we were all kind of down in the dumps when we didn’t make a move”- Reddick on @MLBNetworkRadio

Though the deadline was not totally silent, they acquired LHP Francisco Liriano from the Toronto Blue Jays, there is a sense of disappointment considering the Astros are legit contenders.
Fortunately, there is still time. Unfortunately, that time will run out soon.


What to expect

If a player clears waivers with their team, they can be traded post the July 31st deadline.

Relief pitcher Tyler Clippard cleared waivers with the Chicago White Sox and was then dealt to the Astros for a player-to-be-named-later/cash considerations.

In the aspect of bullpen pitching, Clippard was a nice pickup, carrying over his 3.96 ERA in 50 innings pitched this year. Though that does not seem too fantastic, he had a nice time with the White Sox. He went 10 innings, he gave up only 2 earned runs. And in 3.2 innings with the Astros so far he has given up only one hit with 5 strikeouts.

But pitching, there is still that missing link in the Astros pitching staff. The rotation specifically. There’s a solid 1-2 punch of Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr., anything past that is either a question mark or a concern.

The Astros have nine days to add the missing link before the September first deadline and the current roster is the roster that has to be used in the playoffs. And so far, the only one in consideration is long-time Detroit Tiger, former Cy Young, and MVP Winner Justin Verlander.


The savior of the recent struggling Astros: Justin Verlander

In 159 innings pitched this year, Verlander holds a 3.96 ERA with 159 strikeouts and 64 walks. That kind of control and precision is exactly what the Astros need at this point of the season. Not to mention the type of priceless knowledge and experience a guy like Verlander has.

For a young team like the Astros, that experience is very valuable. The last time they made the playoffs was 2015 when they lost Game 7 of the ALDS to the Oakland Athletics. Before that, they lost the World Series in 2005. Playoff and experience, in general, is the finishing touches on an already stacked Houston roster.


So why hasn’t the deal been done yet?

It seems like a win-win: the Astros get their one missing link and the Tigers can begin a new area of baseball in Detroit. The only problem with this is what losing a guy like Verlander can do to an organization.

In today’s league, there may not be a pitcher that means to a ball club and/or fanbase than what Verlander means to the city of Detroit. With a couple exceptions of course like Clayton Kershaw for the Los Angeles Dodgers or Felix Hernandez for the Seattle Mariners.

Though it looks like the Tigers are possibly on the verge of a rebuild, (J.D. Martinez to Arizona Diamondbacks trade signifying that) it is hard to give up a player that has spent 13 years with your organization. Not to mention that guy being your ace for practically all of those years.


Can it happen?

It will take a lot of negotiation and give and take for the Astros to acquire Verlander. He is a player that’s more than an arm in the rotation. But as the September 1st deadline approaches fast, who knows what will happen? Desperate times call for desperate measures. Not to say the Tigers current situation is desperate, but this game is a business, and the projections don’t look too kind.