Monday, July 24, 2017

The Justin Verlander thing

OK, the KC Royals knocked off the Detroit Tigers again. No big surprise there. Though the front office of the Tigers (and their fans) are no doubt loath to the idea of totally rebuilding, it appears they won't have much choice but to blow it up and start over before long. The current team in its current state is not sustainable and will only get worse over time.

Former "ace" Justin Verlander escaped without another loss on his record, but obviously didn't get a win either.

In fact, he hasn't won a game in a month. Only two in the last two months. His record stands at 5-7, with a mediocre 4.50 ERA over 100 games into this season.

For that matter, Verlander has only had one decent year since 2012, that being 2016. Other than that, he's been the definition of a "journeyman" pitcher.

Yep, he's a horse and capable of throwing 120-130 pitches in any given start, but what good is it if he can't rack up wins?

Throw in the fact the Tigers still owe him almost $80 million for the remainder of his ridiculous contract (three more years plus pro-rating the rest of this one), and the Fastball Flakes man starts looking a lot more like an albatross around their necks than a serious asset to the team.

Hey, if you're going to shell out way north of 20 million every year to a guy that only plays every 5 or 6 days, it's certainly not unreasonable to expect he'll win more games than he loses. But that has not been the case.

As the trade deadline quickly approaches, it is rumored teams such as the Chicago Cubs and LA Dodgers might have an interest in Verlander.

The Dodgers have certainly been cruising along this year, holding the best record in all of baseball. But their ace Clayton Kershaw might have an injury that sidelines him for a while.

Since their historic World Series championship run last year, the Cubs just can't seem to get any traction this year, despite their talent elsewhere, and their starting pitching has been a main reason why.

Money isn't a problem to either of these franchises, but why would they consider bringing Verlander on board, even if the Tigers could work out a deal with either of them?

The LAST thing the north-siders and la-la landers need to do is trade off promising young prospects or established position players for a pitcher that is clearly on the back side of his career. And a hugely overpriced one at that.

The Cubs were champs last year. The Dodgers are coming strong. The Tigers appear to be going down the tubes.

Verlander's from Virginia, has spent his entire major-league career with the Tigers, and likely wants to finish it there.

It's difficult to imagine how and why he could, or would prefer to go somewhere else at this point.

It is the opinion of yours truly that if Tigers GM Al Avila has a lick of sense -- which is debatable -- he'll try to unload #35. It would shed a huge salary and he just might, repeat MIGHT, get something halfway decent in return to build on in the future.

The only question is --

Is anybody else dumb enough to bite?

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