REPORT: Astros pursuing Justin Verlander again?

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Aug 5, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) pitches in the first inning against the New York Mets at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

With Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander having already cleared waivers last week, the right-hander is free to be traded to any of the 29 other clubs. Of course, any such trades would need his approval with his 10-and-5 rights.

There is a report out there suggesting that one team has re-surfaced in trade talks surrounding the 34-year-old right-hander.

The Houston Astros had previously been linked to Verlander prior to the non-waiver trade deadline back in late July. However, nothing ever came to fruition on that front. Other teams like the Cubs, Dodgers and Yankees all had some level of interest in the former Cy Young and AL MVP, but all three have since then addressed their starting pitching needs.

Verlander ultimately stayed put. Tigers general manager Al Avila has said even with his ace pitcher having cleared waivers, that Tigers fans should not expect a trade to go down during the season.

Verlander has certainly held up his end of the bargain lately for interested teams like the Astros. Over his last six starts, he’s registered a 2.31 ERA and a K:BB ratio of just over 3 to 1. Opponents are hitting just .212 off JV in that time as well and he’s chopped his ERA down from 4.96 to 4.20.

The Houston Astros were one team that did not do nearly as much as people had expected or hoped for at the trade deadline. Their lone notable transaction made was acquiring lefty Francisco Liriano from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for a couple of fringe big league outfielders. Houston plans on using Liriano in a long relief role and can be plugged into the rotation should a starter get hurt. That has been the case quite a bit this season for the ‘Stros.

Team ace Dallas Keuchel was very vocal in his disappointment that the team did not go out and make a big splash in the trade market. It is possible that the 2015 Cy Young Award winner believes that they do need some semblance of help in the rotation to help get them over the top.

The Astros had a 4.19 team in the ERA in the month of July, tied for 12th in all of baseball. Not terrible, but not where it should be for the runaway best team in the American League this season. And nearly every World Series contender compiled better numbers than the Astros. in that same span.

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