Al Avila on Justin Verlander trade in August: ‘I wouldn’t hold my breath’

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Sep 27, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) waves to the crowd after being relieved in the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Tigers placed ace Justin Verlander on revocable waivers Monday, general manager Al Avila doesn’t seem to think that an August trade involving Verlander is likely.

“I wouldn’t hold my breath,” Avila told MLB.com’s Jason Beck. “These kind of things sometimes have better movement in the wintertime, when teams are readjusting their budgets and their roster and things of that nature. Nothing’s guaranteed. He might be with us for even longer than that. I couldn’t predict it today. Anything can happen.”

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers
Sep 11, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) pitches in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Verlander and his massive contract (owed $56 million through 2019) were shopped leading up to the trading deadline, but no deal was found. Even by placing him on revocable waivers, the possibility of striking a deal is still no easy task.

Should he clear waivers, he would be able to be dealt off to any team. But if any team puts a claim on him, the Tigers are left with three options: let him go with no compensation, come to an agreement for a trade with the claiming team, or pull him off revocable waivers. That choice would put an end to any trade possibilities for Verlander for the rest of the season, as he would no longer be eligible for trade until the current season comes to an end.

Also aiding the complication of any potential trade is the fact that Verlander has the ability to disallow any trade he is involved in based on his 10-and-5 rights. Players who have accrued 10 years of MLB service time, and five consecutive years with their current team, are essentially awarded a full no trade clause.

If the situation remains as is and Verlander finishes the season with Detroit, it is still possible (potentially even likely) that the process will begin again in the off-season. With a little less money still owed to him at that time than there is currently, his contract will become easier (that’s easier, not easy) to move.