It is no secret that the Major League Baseball trade deadline is looming and the Detroit Tigers will (hopefully) be right in the middle of it. However, this year, unlike years past, they will be the ones giving away top talent in order to “rebuild”, a gesture reminiscent of raising the white flag. This became painfully clear last week when the sold J.D. Martinez to the Arizona Diamondbacks for three prospects.
Other Tigers have been rumored to be heading elsewhere to finish this season and their careers. Names like Alex Avila, Justin Wilson, and Justin Verlander have all be tossed around. Even Michael Fulmer's name has been brought up, but no one is willing to sell their first born son to the Tigers. While Avila and Wilson most likely will be gone by the end of the week, another circumstance has arisen–out in L.A.–that can make one believe Justin Verlander will be on his way out too.
In his start on Sunday, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was removed from the game with back tightness. This now makes two consecutive years that he has dealt with this issue. Kershaw is arguably the best pitcher in the game and has been the Dodgers workhorse over the last four seasons–seasons in which they won four consecutive Division titles. However, those Division Titles have amounted to nothing more than bragging rights in the National League West as the Dodgers have failed to make the World Series in each of those four years. Now, Kershaw is out for up to six weeks and the Dodgers are scratching their heads as to what are they going to do next?
Verlander to the Dodgers makes the most sense for a couple of reasons. First, they have the ability to take on such an “oversized” contract and nothing think twice about it. This, however, would dimish the return given back if the Dodgers have to take on all of JV's salary. Secondly, if the Tigers wanted to make this deal, they could package someone like Justin Wilson or Ian Kinsler with JV in order to make the return nice and pretty. The Dodgers have a loaded farm system and are desperate to make it back to the World Series–a place they haven't been since 1988.
JV to L.A. seems like it could be on the horizon. Think he'll have the no trade clause to wear the Dodger blue? I do.